The Square (2017)


Ruben Östlund directs Claes Bang, Elisabeth Moss and Terry Notary in this art world satire about a vain modern art museum curator whose life spirals out of control. 

At times rattlingly smart, other times a bit obvious and dull. There’s a brilliant five star 90 minutes film here padded out with an hour of OKish extras. Claes Bang is fine as the square – an immaculate middle aged man who raves with his underlings and elderly patrons, while struggling to do the right thing even while doing the right thing. Moss has a brilliant scene involving a tug of war over a used condom. Notary steals the show as a performance artist who wrecks a stuffy ballroom dinner with his wild, aggressive antics. “Help me.” Everyone, but he, says it at some point. Visually there are lots of squares too. The kinda experience that feels as much a psychological test paper, as much as a high brow comedy. You can tell why it did so well at Cannes. The world of impenetrable works, ligging galas and shock tactic media campaigns probably felt very familiar at a film festival known for its pomp, controversies and industry focus over artistic celebration.


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