Downhill spirals to the bottom of this marriage’s hill, slowly and surely


If you rent <em>Downhill</em> merely on the name recognition of stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell with no further investigation, you will will be in for a different ride down the hill than you might suspect.

This European adventure directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash from the screenplay written by Faxon, Rash and Jesse Armstrong is not a barreling ride down a big hill of guffaws.

You betcha that both the big stars are most well known for their ability for drawing laughs by their work, on the small screen with <em>Seinfeld</em> and <em>Veep</em> for her, and big screen with <Elf</em>, <Em>Anchorman</em> and so many more for both of them.

This is not a funny movie.

It is the story of a marriage gone sour, a relationship fraying, a family coming apart day by day.

It’s the remake of a 2014 Swedish thriller, and it will give you pause to consider the natural peril coming from within because, yes, these two are excellent actors with plenty of dramatic chops, too.

Husband Pete is trying to get over the death of his father. Wife Billie is good and tired of his emotional distancing.

They can’t begin to imagine what’s coming. (From

Their slow boil is a daily drip on the heads of their two sons. And then comes an avalanche of emotional baggage, literally and figuratively, and these parents must figure their crap out individually if there is to be a snowball’s chance collectively.

Winter in the Austrian Alps, as tense as it is beautiful, sure helps the tension build, as well.

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