TRIANGLE OF SADNESS was the last 2023 best picture nominee I hadn’t seen, but I’d been planning to watch it anyway. It’s the latest from Swedish director Ruben Östlund, and his second in a row to win the Palme d’Or at Cannes. I haven’t seen the previous one (2017’s THE SQUARE), so my impression of him comes from FORCE MAJEURE (2014). Although I liked it I guess I didn’t review it, and I mostly just remember the A+ premise (a guy ruins his marriage in one moment because an avalanche seems to be headed for his family and he runs off without helping them).
The new one further explores the subject of flawed rich people on fateful luxury vacations. It begins with a young couple, Carl (Harris Dickinson, MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL) and Yaya (Charlbi Dean, DEATH RACE 3: INFERNO). Carl is a seemingly pretty successful male model (the people at an audition say “It’s you!” in awe when they open his portfolio to a black and white ad for perfume or something) and Yaya is also a model but considers herself a professional influencer. The first chapter of the movie chronicles a passive aggressive comment about who pays for dessert escalating to a screaming near break-up public scene in a hotel elevator just because Carl doesn’t know how to let it go. The long, slow boil from him kind of having a point to making you want to throw him out a window for not moving on to a new topic is kind of a test to see if you’re gonna be able to stand the movie, which is not in a hurry to get anywhere. It’s just cruising. (read the rest of this shit…)