Storm warning in Ruben Östlund’s Triangle of Sadness

Picture of the film TRIANGLE OF SADNESS by Ruben ÖSTLUND © Fredrik-Wenzel ©Plattform

He caused a sensation with the explosive The Square, Palme d’or in 2017, and Force Majeure (Turist), Un Certain Regard Jury prize in 2014. Ruben Östlund is back in Cannes in Competition to present Triangle of Sadness. He takes us to the high seas in a satire of the fashion world.

Carl and Yaya have earned their holiday. After Fashion Week, this couple of model-influencers board a yacht for a luxury cruise. The staff is attentive, the setting is sumptuous, and they can shower their networks with photos, each more enviable than the last. Until one day, a storm threatens…

The title Triangle of Sadness is a reference from the world of aesthetics. It is a wrinkle on the forehead that inspired Ruben Östlund: "In Swedish, we call it the worry wrinkle, it’s like a sign that you have been through hard times in your life."

“I thought it was indicative of our age’s obsession with appearance and the fact that inner well-being is somehow secondary.”

How do physical appearance and clothing confer power and influence? This is the starting point for Ruben Östlund, who is no stranger to social satire. In preparing this film, the director drew on the knowledge of his wife, a fashion photographer who is familiar with both marketing strategies and the working conditions of models.

Ruben Östlund has taken great pleasure in turning his drunken ship into a great tragicomic scene. On board, the rich, the beautiful and the powerful cohabit with a more humble and benevolent staff. The storm turns the roles upside down and redistributes power beyond fortune and appearances. This upheaval gives rise to situations that are as hilarious as they are disturbing, in a subtle mix to which the Swedish director holds all the secrets.