'The Square' is Ruben Östlund's latest masterpiece for Cannes Film Festival.
This weekend saw the announcement of Swedish art satire 'The Square' as this year's Palme d'Or prize winner at the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival. It came as quite the surprise for everyone, given that comedies such as this have rarely been winners of the top award.
Ruben Ostlund at the 2015 BIFA Awards
Directed and written by the genius that is the BAFTA nominated Ruben Östlund (who is following his 2014 masterpiece 'Force Majeure'), 'The Square' explores the boundaries of art and human nature following a manager of a modern art museum named named Christian (Claes Bang) who opens a new exhibiton with an installation that comprises of a square drawn on the floor whereby anyone who steps inside must recognise it as a 'sanctuary of trust and caring'.
However, life isn't that simple for Christian himself, who winds up on a furious rampage to find his stolen cellphone after he becomes the victim of a sophisticated pick-pocketing scam - a moment based on the director's own experience. Even when he ends up in bed with a journalist named Anne (Elisabeth Moss), it transforms into the most ridiculous farce you've ever seen. Of course, while he's busy with his personal life, the museum is suffering from a lot of bad press ahead of the opening of 'The Square'.
The plot description doesn't get close to the reason why 'The Square' has won the coveted Palme d'Or; it's an oddly sequenced and very long film (at 2 hours 22 minutes) that kept audiences gripped throughout at Cannes with intense scenes like that of a man pretending to be an ape interrupting a luxury black-tie dinner and picking on a guest called Julian played by the indomitable Dominic West. Ruben Östlund just isn't afraid to dig deep into the controversial nature of humanity and capitalize on the painfully awkward moments of everyday (and not so everyday) life.
More winners at Cannes Film Festival included Sofia Coppola, who became the second woman ever to land Best Director for 'The Beguiled', while that film's star Nicole Kidman earned the special 70th Anniversary prize. Diane Kruger from 'In the Fade' and Joaquin Phoenix from 'You Were Never Really Here' won Best Actress and Actor respectively, while the latter film also shared Best Screenplay with 'The Killing of a Sacred Deer'. Robin Campillo's '120 Beats Per Minute' took home the Grand Prix and the Jury prize went to 'Loveless'.
'The Square' will be released in UK theatres on August 25th 2017.