Ruben Östlund’s THE SQUARE to compete for the Palme d’Or

Ruben Östlund‘s upcoming film The Square has been selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

The Square is Östlund’s fourth feature film to compete at Cannes, following Force Majeure (2014), Play (2011) and Involuntary (2008).

I’m afraid I was so nervous, that there was no feeling of excitement. A bit like when the referee blows the final whistle after an incredibly even game, that finally ended in victory. Relief! I have had a feeling it could happen, we have made a very good film. We have cut a material of 400 000 gigabyte down to 30. The actual reason why we had to wait so long for an answer was because we handed in the film so late. But, wow, how exciting with a gala premiere at the Lumière Cinema. There are scenes in The Square which are created specifically for that screening, with a smoking-clad audience. I won’t say anymore, you will understand” he says in a Swedish Film Institute press release.

The Square is described as a ‘poignant satirical drama reflecting on our times’ and follows Christian, a successful curator of a modern art museum. A few days before the opening of a prestigious exhibition titled ‘The Square’, he is mugged. He can’t shake it off, so he embarks on a hunt for the perpetrator. His journey steadily becomes more amusing and makes him question his own moral compass. Simultaneously he has to deal with the PR agency the museum hired to help market the upcoming exhibition. Something which takes an unexpected turn and plunges both the curator and the museum into crisis.

The cast includes  Claes Bang (The Bridge), Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men), Dominic West (The Affair) and Christopher Læssø (Darkland). Cinematographer Fredrik Wenzel and scenographer Josefin Åsberg who worked on Ruben Östlund’s last film Force Majeure, have once again joined forces with him.

Ruben Östlund’s previous film Force Majeure was awarded the Prix de Jury in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes in 2014, besides receiving a nomination for a Golden Globe in the Best Foreign Language Film category.


Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.