Ruben Ostlund’s ‘Triangle of Sadness’ Wins Palme d’Or

Ruben Östlund’s Triangle of Sadness, a satire on modern-day capitalism, has won the Palme d’Or for best film at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival. This is Östlund’s second Palme, after his last film, The Square, a satire on the art world, won the Palme d’Or in 2017.

Östlund’s film follows a group of super-rich models and oligarchs on a luxury cruise who have the tables turned when the ship capsizes and they end up on a desert island. The only survivor who knows how to fish or make a fire is one of the ship’s maids, who soon rises to the top of the social hierarchy. While some found Östlund’s satire a bit too broad and on the nose, it was an audience favorite at the festival.

Östlund celebrated his second Palme win as he did his first, for The Square, getting the entire audience to join him in a “primal scream of joy.”

The win for Triangle is also good news for Neon, who picked up domestic rights to the film in Cannes. The specialty distributor is on a real Palme d’Or run, having snatched up the past three Cannes winners.

Cannes Grand Prix, the runner-up prize, was awarded Ex aequo to Claire Denis’ Stars at Noon, an erotic drama with political overtones set in modern-day Nicaragua, starring Margaret Qualley and Joe Alwyn; and to Close, a coming-of-age story from Belgian director Lukas Dhont, a tearjerker closely inspired by the director’s own life about two 13-year-old boys whose intimate friendship is tested by the onset of puberty.

Park Chan-wook won best director for his romantic mystery thriller Decision to Leave. The beautifully-constructed film noir stars Tang Wei as a mysterious care worker who might also be a murderer. Arthouse streaming service Mubi picked up the Korean drama for multiple territories ahead of the festival, including the U.S. and U.K.

The Cannes Jury Prize was awared ex aequo to EO by Jerzy Skolimowski, an epic journey of one donkey’s turbulent adventures across Poland and Italy; and to The Eight Mountains by Charlotte Vandermeersch and Felix Van Groeningen, which follows the difficult friendship between two straight men who can’t talk about their feelings.

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