Brow Beat

Is This the Greatest Freak-Out in Oscar Nominations History?

Let’s get this out of the way: Force Majeure totally deserved to be nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. It made Slate’s best movies of 2014 and dozens of other critics’ lists, too (including my own personal one). But this reaction to its snub from director Ruben Östlund and producer Erik Hemmendorff (which really begins around 4:40), is so over-the-top that it’s unbelievable—perhaps literally so.

As movie journalist Mark Harris has asked on Twitter, “Is this a wink, a performance piece, or brave self-exposure?” I lean towards the former, mostly because this video is so close in sensibility to Force Majeure itself—complete with static cinematography, a dry, dark sense of humor, and a long scene of a grown man throwing a hilarious, bawling tantrum while only half clothed—that it feels almost like an unofficial sequel. (In fact, some Googling reveals that the Östlund is obsessed with men breaking into sobs, and the distributor even attempted a viral marketing campaign around the idea of the #mancry.) On the other hand, Östlund wouldn’t be the first director to film his shock at getting snubbed—here’s Steven Spielberg reacting to not getting nominated for Jaws (“I got beaten out by Fellini!”)—so maybe there’s some truth to all of this. But who really reacts to getting snubbed by taking off all their clothes?