Each of the films by Ruben Östlund are satirical. To most, the result can be rated somewhere between really good to brilliant. At a minimum all of them are clever.
If, as a viewer, you are not the target of the satire, the films are arcane yet rewarding. All of his films at some point, likely many points, will have you muttering to yourself “did what just happen, really happen? And, oh my goodness do I really want to go where I think this film is this going.” However, be warned, If you are the target – start squirming, and know full well that Östlund can be merciless. Regardless, if you have a seat belt handy, I suggest buckling up.
Östlund has a remarkable skill – to know when to make things obvious and when to completely surprise. Few in today’s cinema can match him on this front.
Triangle of Sadness, similar to The Square and Force Majeure – picks on certain segments of life with a level of precision that is searing in its accuracy and [sic, frankly] its honesty. Too accurate? Too honest? Possibly for some – especially if you are the subject.
*** Jeff’s Worthless Trivia and Other Thoughts ***
Triangle of Sadness, and The Square won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival (Think Academy Award for Best Picture). Only 10 Directors have won twice in Cannes’ 84 year history.
Female Lead Charbly Dean the South African Actress and Model, is otherwise superb in Triangle of Sadness. Unfortunately a few months after the film’s premiere, she died from sepsis after she was infected with a bacteria known as Capnocytophaga. Capnocytophaga is rare and can come from the mouths of humans or pet dogs or cats. The most susceptible are people without spleens. Dean had her spleen removed after being involved – as a passenger – in a serious car crash 10 years previous. This past August, Dean, seemingly healthy began to feel sick, she went to the emergency room at a New York City Hospital and was dead within hours. Dean was 32 years of age at her death.
Force Majeure was remade by Hollywood as Downhill (starring Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus) in 2022. For the most part Downhill was a disappointment. Why? Östlund is really good at having his films reveal things without a word being said, and pulling out the absurdness of things – the target of the satire – desires to be perceived as normal. Downhill’s choice was to take the opposite approach. While not horrible, and having some genuinely good moments, Downhill proved to be a standard fare two-star comedy that wasted the talent of the Leads.