Triangle of Sadness
Social satirist Ruben Östlund (The Square; Force Majeure) picked up his second Palme d’Or at Cannes earlier this year with this gleefully mischievous assault on the State of Things. Influencer couple Carl and Yaya (Harris Dickinson and Charlbi Dean) join a luxury cruise for the super rich. While the crew bends over backwards to accommodate the passengers’ whims (even one woman’s insistence that the entire staff stops what they are doing to enjoy a swim), the captain refuses to leave his cabin before the mandatory dinner given in his name—a tumultuous banquet which coincides with a dire turn in the weather.
Östlund retains his knack for hitting on potent and provocative situations—the banquet is an unforgettable, uproarious set piece presided over by a gloriously unflappable, stiffly inebriated Woody Harrelson. Östlund really turns the screws in the film’s second half, when a shipwreck upends the social hierarchy and suddenly, all bets are off. Granted, most of the characters are truly awful and the satire is subtle as a baseball bat. Yet the movie keeps building and damn if we don’t care about them by the end. It’s a must-see.
Palme d’or, Cannes 2022
Woody Harrelson, Harris Dickinson, Charlbi Dean, Zlatko Buric, Iris Berben, Vicki Berlin, Henrik Dorsin, Jean-Christophe Folly, Amanda Walker
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Photo by Sina Östlund
Ruben Östlund was born in 1974 and grew up on an island on the West Coast of Sweden. He studied at the University of Gothenburg, where he met Erik Hemmendorff, with whom he later founded Plattform Produktion. Östlund won the Golden Bear in Berlin for his short film Incident by a Bank (2010). His fifth feature, The Square (2017), which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, was subsequently nominated for a Golden Globe and an Oscar. Triangle of Sadness, his sixth feature, premiered in competition at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.
Filmography: The Guitar Mongoloid (2005); Play (2011); Force Majeure (2014); The Square (2017)