It has been 23 years since a comedy won the highest film award of Cannes Film Festival, the Palme d’Or – and it took The Square, a jaw-dropping, whip-smart art-world satire to do it.
Needing a provocative idea to draw attention to his palatial Stockholm museum, head curator Christian spends millions on “The Square,” a barely-visible installation that invites visitors to exercise altruism. When the museum’s über-cool ad agency comes up with an “edgy” campaign for the accompanying exhibit, Christian is too obsessed with the loss of his cell phone to pay much attention. The downward spiral that transpires is a neat summation of our current anxieties, and a gnawing dread that civilization’s advances since our evolution from the apes may all be for naught.
Written and directed by the mercilessly talented Ruben Östlund (Force Majeure), The Square is brilliant, biting and unnervingly hilarious. –Jaie Laplante