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Involuntary(De ofrivilliga)

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Sweden, France · 2008
1h 38m
Director Ruben Östlund
Starring Villmar Björkman, Linnea Cart-Lamy, Leif Edlund, Sara Eriksson
Genre Comedy, Drama

In early summer Sweden, five parallel storylines unfold, exploring the theme of human group behavior. A party host likes to pull pranks that go too far. A grade school teacher speaks up about her colleague's misconduct. Two teenage party girls deal with the consequences of a night out gone wrong.

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What are critics saying?


Variety by Leslie Felperin

Perfs, by a mixture of non-pros and little-known thesps, are impressively naturalistic and spontaneous. Ostlund has a knack for comedy, although his script, co-written with Erik Hemmendorff, is a little opaque about where it stands on the morality of each strand’s situation.


Village Voice by Michael Atkinson

Involuntary doesn't simplify its stories into a single point of view or idea; rather, Östlund is merely visiting these high-pressure moments in which Swedish culture frays, melts down, and betrays its ultra-civilized idea of itself.


The Dissolve by Scott Tobias

Beyond theme, however, these stories are united by the agonizing, low-level tension Östlund brings to bear on every scene, which vary in importance, but not in consequences for the characters involved.


The Hollywood Reporter by Stephen Farber

We expect these stories to intersect, but instead they are completely self-contained narratives that rarely reach a potent dramatic conclusion. More irritating is Ostlund's shooting style, which consists of very long takes from an unmoving camera, often from the backs of the heads of important characters.

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