SPOILER ALERT: Minor plot points for Ruben Östlund’s “Triangle of Sorrow” are discussed below.
Cannes attendees who had been waiting for David Cronenberg’s ‘Crimes of the Future’ to give the festival a stomach ache got an electrifying surprise with the world premiere of Ruben Östlund’s latest social satire, ‘Triangle of Sadness’. The film won an eight-minute standing ovation after a spirited screening that found audiences at the Palais de Cannes theater screaming in horror and delight.
‘Triangle of Sadness’ stars ‘Beach Rats’ and ‘The Kingsman’ actor Harris Dickinson as an aspiring model who is lucky enough to vacation aboard a luxury yacht after his girlfriend influential has won them a free trip. Woody Harrelson plays the alcoholic captain of the yacht. The yacht is full of the pretentious and snobbish guests who make up the 1%, but they all get their reward thanks to an extended 15-minute sequence in which a storm brings an epidemic of seasickness.
This centerpiece has perhaps sparked the loudest reaction from Cannes audiences so far at the 2022 festival. Östlund prolongs the buildup as the boat rocks and guests are served oysters and side dishes. elaborate seafood. Eventually, all hell breaks loose and eruptions of vomiting and poo are shown in graphic detail. The Palace audience was screaming, covering their eyes and bursting into laughter. Three attendees were spotted emerging from the Palace balcony in the middle of the footage, but everyone in the crowd responded with approval.
“Triangle of Sadness” is full of several other moments that shocked audiences, but the rest of the movie is best left untouched. The Cannes crowd responded with an eight-minute standing ovation that was far louder than the standing ovations “Top Gun: Maverick” and other films have won so far at the festival.
“What a wonderful projection,” Ostlund said when handed a microphone, his commentary nearly drowned out by the applause. “What a set we had. Thanks very much!”
In addition to the public reaction, Variety‘s Peter Debruge gave ‘Triangle of Sadness’ a strong review, writing: “There’s a meticulous precision in the way he constructs, blocks and executes the scenes – a kind of agonizing unease, amplified by awkward silences or an unwanted fly buzzing between characters struggling to communicate.”
Östlund was last at Cannes with “The Square” in 2017, which won the Palme d’Or. Although there are still plenty of films in competition to screen, the reaction to ‘Triangle of Sadness’ suggests it could be a contender for one of the Cannes awards.
“Triangle of Sadness” delivered Cannes a dose of shock and awe. It’s up to you, Cronenberg.