Triangle of Sadness

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Triangle of Sadness
TriangleOfSadness2022Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRuben Östlund
Written byRuben Östlund
Produced by
  • Erik Hemmendorff
  • Philippe Bober
Starring
CinematographyFredrik Wenzel
Edited by
Music by
  • Mikkel Maltha
  • Leslie Ming
Production
companies
Distributed by
Release dates
  • 21 May 2022 (2022-05-21) (Cannes)
  • 28 September 2022 (2022-09-28) (France)
  • 7 October 2022 (2022-10-07) (Sweden)
  • 13 October 2022 (2022-10-13) (Germany)
  • 28 October 2022 (2022-10-28) (United Kingdom)
Running time
147 minutes[1]
Countries
  • Sweden
  • Germany
  • France
  • United Kingdom[2]
  • Mexico
  • Denmark
  • Greece
  • Switzerland
  • United States
  • Turkey[3]
LanguageEnglish
Budget$15.6 million[4]
Box office$23.1 million[5]

Triangle of Sadness is a 2022 satirical black comedy film written and directed by Ruben Östlund in his English-language feature film debut. The film stars Harris Dickinson, Charlbi Dean, Dolly de Leon, Zlatko Burić, Henrik Dorsin, Vicki Berlin, and Woody Harrelson. It is the last film Dean starred in before her death in August 2022. The film follows a celebrity couple on a luxury cruise with wealthy guests.

Triangle of Sadness had its world premiere at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival on 21 May 2022, where it received an eight-minute standing ovation and won the Palme d'Or, and was released in France on 28 September, in the United States and Sweden on 7 October, in Germany on 13 October, and in the United Kingdom on 28 October. The film received generally positive reviews, while De Leon's performance received international praise, garnering her first Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations for her supporting role. It also won four European Film Awards, including the Best Film award, and received three nominations at the 95th Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.

Plot[edit]

Carl, a model, and Yaya, a model and influencer, are dating. Carl resents Yaya for expecting him to pay for meals even though she earns more than he does; they often bicker about money and gender roles. Yaya admits that she is in a relationship with Carl for the engagement it earns them on social media, and that she seeks to become a trophy wife, but Carl declares that she will come to love him.

They are invited on a luxury cruise aboard a superyacht in exchange for its social media promotion. Among the wealthy guests are the Russian oligarch Dimitry and his wife Vera; the elderly couple Clementine and Winston, who have made their fortune manufacturing weapons; Therese, a wheelchair user only capable of speaking a single sentence in German following a stroke; and Jarmo, a lonely tech millionaire who flirts with Yaya. The guests luxuriate on the yacht, oblivious to the crew working to meet their every need and whim. The head of staff, Paula, demands they obey the guests' absurd requests, including having every crew member swim in the sea. When the kitchen crew is ordered to swim, the chef says that this means the food will go off, but the kitchen crew is ordered to go anyway. Meanwhile, the yacht's captain, Thomas Smith, spends his time drunk in his cabin.

Paula gets Thomas to sober up and attend the captain's dinner as the yacht passes through a storm. Several guests become violently seasick, vomit or have diarrhea, possibly due to the food, and panic breaks out. The drunken Thomas and Dimitry debate in favor of communism and capitalism, respectively, over the intercom. Several guests are injured as the storm tosses the ship, the sewage floods, and the power goes out. When morning arrives, pirates attack, killing Clementine and Winston with a grenade and capsizing the yacht.

A small group of survivors consisting of Carl, Yaya, Dimitry, Therese, Paula, Jarmo, ship mechanic Nelson (whom Dimitry accuses of being one of the pirates), and cleaning woman Abigail manage to escape to an island. At first, Paula continues to order Abigail to service the cruise guests. When it becomes clear that Abigail is the only one with survival skills, such as catching fish and building fires, she usurps command by withholding food. As the survivors bond and come to terms with their situation, Abigail gains power, getting her own private bed inside a lifeboat and coercing Carl into a sexual relationship in exchange for Carl getting special privileges and food. Yaya grows jealous while Carl considers leaving her for Abigail. Jarmo kills a wild donkey by smashing it with a rock, which Dimitry and Nelson celebrate.

Yaya decides to hike to the other side of the island, and Abigail volunteers to go with her despite Carl's concerns. They discover an elevator and realize they have been stranded near a luxury resort. Back at the camp, Therese encounters a beach vendor but is unable to communicate her situation. Yaya celebrates finding the elevator, but Abigail hesitates to enter. She then prepares to attack Yaya with a rock, but hesitates when the oblivious Yaya offers to help Abigail get better work, such as being Yaya's assistant. Elsewhere, Carl frantically runs through the jungle, calling out for Yaya.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Triangle of Sadness was announced by the director, Ruben Östlund, in June 2017, after his film The Square won the Palme d'Or at the 70th Cannes Film Festival the previous month. He said the film was to be called Triangle of Sadness, a "wild" satire set against the world of fashion and the uber-rich, with "appearance as capital" and "beauty as currency" as the underlying themes.[6] The English title refers to a term used by plastic surgeons for the worry wrinkle that forms between the eyebrows, which can be fixed with botox in 15 minutes.[7][8]

Research for some parts of the script took place in May 2018. Casting took place from August to November 2018 in Berlin, Paris, London, New York, Los Angeles and Gothenburg,[9] and continued in Moscow in March 2019. Location scouting began in January 2019 and lasted intermittently until October 2019. Östlund fine-tuned the last details of pre-production from November 2019 to the first half of February 2020.

In February 2020, it was reported that Triangle of Sadness would begin principal photography on 19 February in Sweden and Greece, with a 70-day shoot, and that the cast would include Harris Dickinson, Charlbi Dean and Woody Harrelson.[10] About 120 actors were considered for the role that Dickinson landed. On 26 March, production paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic with about 37% of shooting completed.[11] Editing started during the first COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. Production resumed on 27 June in Sweden, allowing Harrelson to finish his scenes, but was halted again on 3 July.[12]

Production resumed on 18 September on location at Chiliadou Beach, Euboea, Greece, for the last 38 days. Photography wrapped on 13 November 2020, concluding a 73-day shoot. Östlund mentioned that the production carried out 1,061 COVID-19 tests throughout filming and all were negative.[4] Filming also took place on other Greek islands, on the stages of Film i Väst in Trollhättan, Sweden, and in the Mediterranean Sea on the Christina O, the yacht formerly owned by Aristotle Onassis and Jackie Kennedy.[13] Post-production lasted 22 months. According to the actors, Östlund shot as many as 23 takes for each scene.[14]

Release[edit]

Triangle of Sadness premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on 21 May 2022,[15] and on 28 May won the festival's Palme d'Or. It was an official selection of the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival, where it held its North American premiere on 8 September,[16] and the 2022 New York Film Festival (1 October).[17]

Neon acquired North American distribution rights for $8 million,[18] winning a bidding war with A24, Searchlight Pictures/Hulu, Focus Features and Sony Pictures Classics.[19] The film was released in France on 28 September 2022, in the United States and Sweden on 7 October, in Germany on 13 October, and in the United Kingdom on 28 October.

A 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD disc is set to be released by The Criterion Collection by April 25, 2023.[20]

On VOD, it ranked #2 on iTunes Movies following the Oscar nomination announcements.[21]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

As of 2 February 2023, Triangle of Sadness has grossed $4.3 million in the United States and Canada, and $18.8 million in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $23.1 million.[5]

In the United States, Triangle of Sadness opened in 10 locations in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco to a debut of $210,074, for a per theater average of $21,007.[22] In its second weekend, it grossed $657,051 on 31 screens.[23] In its third weekend, it grossed $600,000 on 280 screens, finishing tenth at the box office.[24] In its fourth weekend, it grossed $548,999 on 610 screens.[25]

Critical response[edit]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 72% based on 236 reviews, with an average rating of 7.2/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Triangle of Sadness lacks the sharp edges of Östlund's earlier work, but this blackly humorous swipe at the obscenely affluent has its own rewards."[26] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 63 out of 100, based on 47 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[27]

Richard Brody, in his review for The New Yorker, described Triangle of Sadness as "a movie of targeted demagogy that pitches its facile political stances to the preconceptions of the art-house audience; far from deepening those ideas or challenging those assumptions, it flatters the like-minded viewership while swaggering with the filmmaker’s presumption of freethinking, subversive audacity". Brody described Östlund's direction as "precise but stiff" and criticised the film's emphasis on social commentary: "[Östlund's] keen observations are submerged in his efforts at social criticism and political philosophy". However, Brody commended the cast performances — particularly Dean's, of which he wrote: "If nothing else, the movie would have assured her stardom; there’s no telling how many characters and films her death foreclosed before their conceptions."[28]

Armond White, in a critical review for conservative magazine National Review, talks about the substitution of concepts in Triangle of Sadness: "Östlund extends his Euro-Marxism into a second-rate allegory about third-world exploitation: An insulting subplot features the ship's Filipino toilet manager (Dolly De Leon) turning the tables on the rich, feckless whites, yet emulating their decadence (Parasite, Part II). Östlund bungles the political, spiritual, and moral lessons of such classics about chaos as Luis Buñuel's Exterminating Angel, Antonioni's L'Avventura, and Godard's Weekend". White sums up his review calling Östlund "just a misanthrope and a fraud".[29]

Accolades[edit]

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
Cannes Film Festival May 28, 2022 Palme d'Or Ruben Östlund Won [30]
AFCAE Art House Cinema Award Won [31]
European Film Awards December 10, 2022 Best Film Triangle of Sadness Won [2]
Best Director Ruben Östlund Won
Best Screenwriter Won
Best Actor Zlatko Burić Won
European University Film Award Triangle of Sadness Nominated [32]
Los Angeles Film Critics Association December 11, 2022 Best Supporting Performer Dolly de Leon Won [33]
Greater Western New York Film Critics Association December 30, 2022 Best Supporting Actress Nominated [34]
Alliance of Women Film Journalists January 5, 2023 Best Ensemble Cast – Casting Director Pauline Hansson Nominated [35]
National Society of Film Critics January 7, 2023 Best Supporting Actress Dolly de Leon 3rd place [36]
San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics Circle January 9, 2023 Best Supporting Actress Nominated [37]
Golden Globe Awards January 10, 2023 Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Triangle of Sadness Nominated [38]
Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Dolly de Leon Nominated
Critics' Choice Movie Awards January 15, 2023 Best Comedy Triangle of Sadness Nominated [39]
North Dakota Film Society January 16, 2023 Best Supporting Actress Dolly de Leon Won [40]
Portland Critics Association January 16, 2023 Best Comedy Feature Triangle of Sadness Nominated [41]
Best Actress in a Supporting Role Dolly de Leon Nominated
Online Film Critics Society January 23, 2023 Best Supporting Actress Nominated [42]
Guldbagge Awards January 23, 2023 Best Film Erik Hemmendorff and Philippe Bober Won [43][44]
Best Director Ruben Östlund Won
Best Actor in a Supporting Role Zlatko Burić Won
Best Actress in a Supporting Role Dolly de Leon Won
Best Screenplay Ruben Östlund Nominated
Best Costume Design Sofie Krunegård Won
Best Set Design Josefin Åsberg Nominated
Best Makeup Stefanie Gredig Won
Best Visual Effects Peter Hjorth, Peter Toggeth Karlsson, Ludwig Källén and Vincent Larsson Nominated
London Film Critics' Circle February 5, 2023 Supporting Actress of the Year Dolly de Leon Nominated [45]
British/Irish Actor of the Year (for body of work) Harris Dickinson Nominated
Satellite Awards February 11, 2023 Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical Triangle of Sadness Pending [46]
Best Supporting Actress Dolly de Leon Pending
Best Original Screenplay Ruben Östlund Pending
Vancouver Film Critics Circle February 13, 2023 Best Supporting Actress Dolly de Leon Pending [47]
British Academy Film Awards February 19, 2023 Best Actress in a Supporting Role Pending [48]
Best Original Screenplay Ruben Östlund Pending
Best Casting Pauline Hansson Pending
Hollywood Critics Association Awards February 24, 2023 Best Comedy Triangle of Sadness Pending [49]
AACTA International Awards February 24, 2023 Best Supporting Actor Woody Harrelson Pending [50]
Best Screenplay Ruben Östlund Pending
Golden Reel Awards February 26, 2023 Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Foreign Language Feature Andreas Franck, Bent Holm, Gustav Landbecker, Johannes Dekko, Claes Lundberg, Benny Persson, Daniel Lindvik, Alexander Wunsch, Erik Watland, Ulf Olausson Pending [51]
Academy Awards March 12, 2023 Best Picture Triangle of Sadness: Erik Hemmendorff, Philippe Bober Pending [52]
Best Director Triangle of Sadness: Ruben Östlund
Best Original Screenplay Triangle of Sadness: Ruben Östlund

References[edit]

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External links[edit]