Cannes Film Festival: Ostlund wins Palme d’Or for “Triangle of Sadness”

Cannes Film Festival
Ostlund wins Palme d’Or for “Triangle of Sadness”

Glitz and glamor in Cannes – and prizes for the best in the film industry: Swedish director Ruben Östlund wins the Palme d’Or with the film “Triangle of Sadness”. In addition, the war against Ukraine characterizes the 75th edition of the famous festival on the Côte d’Azur.

Swedish director Ruben Östlund has won the main prize at the Cannes Film Festival for the second time. The jury honored his social satire “Triangle of Sadness” with the Palme d’Or. The film is about models and the super-rich whose journey on a luxury cruise ship ends in disaster.

“Our goal was to make an engaging film for audiences and thought provoking,” said Östlund upon accepting the hundred-diamond gold trophy. The 48-year-old director had already won the Palme d’Or in Cannes in 2017 with his film “The Square”. Östlund is known for his humorous and scathing studies of human behavior, and he presents one in “Triangle of Sadness”. The film satirically dives into the world of influencers and the super-rich and takes place on a luxury yacht, among other things. After being hijacked by pirates, some of the ship’s travelers are stranded on an island where hierarchies are reversed. Because an employee who took care of the toilets on the yacht is the only one who can catch fish, make fire and thus ensure the survival of the people.

Iris Berben can be seen in a supporting role

“Triangle of Sadness” is about the absurdity of capitalism, power relations and social inequality. Iris Berben can be seen in a supporting role: she plays a ship passenger who has a speech disorder after a stroke and can only say the sentence “In the clouds” and sometimes “No”. She is also among the travelers stranded on the island.

The film caused a lot of laughs when it premiered at the film festival. It was probably the most garish and funniest contribution. The two films that were awarded the Grand Jury Prize, the second most important prize at the festival, struck a calmer tone: the French filmmaker Claire Denis (“Stars at Noon”) and the Belgian Lukas Dhont for “Close”.

Chan Wook wins best director award

The South Korean Park Chan Wook, whose film “Decision to Leave” competed in Cannes, was honored with the award for best director. The Jury Prize was awarded to “Le Otto Montagne” by Charlotte Vandermeersch and Felix Van Groeningen and equally to “EO” by Jerzy Skolimowski.

Iranian Sar Amir Ebrahimi, who lives in exile in France, was awarded best actress at the gala for her role in “Holy Spider”. The award for the best actor went to the South Korean Song Kang Ho, known from the film “Parasite”, who convinced the jury in Cannes as the leading actor in the film “Broker”.

A total of 21 films had competed for the Palme d’Or in Cannes. A German contribution was not in the running. The nine-member jury, headed by French actor Vincent Lindon, included Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, his Norwegian colleague Joachim Trier and British actress and filmmaker Rebecca Hall.

Posthumous tribute to Mantas Kvedaravicius

Last year, the unconventional fantasy drama “Titane” by French filmmaker Julia Ducournau won the Palme d’Or. It was only the second time in the festival’s history that a film directed by a woman had won the Palme d’Or, following New Zealander Jane Campion’s ‘The Piano’ in 1993. This year, five films directed by a woman competed for the Palme d’Or – a record number for Cannes.

The film festival was marked by the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. Both the Ukrainian director Sergej Losniza and the Russian director Kirill Serebrennikow, who now lives in Berlin, presented their new films in Cannes. The posthumously completed film by Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravicius, who was killed in April in the Ukrainian port of Mariupol, was also shown in Cannes.

Selenskyj surprised at the opening ceremony

At the opening ceremony almost two weeks ago, the Ukrainian head of state Volodymyr Zelenskyj surprisingly joined in. In his speech, he appealed to the film world to “raise its voice” against the war in Ukraine.

The famous festival on the Côte d’Azur celebrated its 75th edition this year. A gala with stars such as Sophie Marceau, Kristen Stewart, Diane Kruger and Guillermo del Toro took place on Tuesday evening. “Cinema is not dead, cinema is alive and will not die out,” festival director Thierry Frémaux summed up the film for the big screen.

Hollywood productions such as the biopic “Elvis” by Baz Luhrmann with Austin Butler as “King of Rock’n’Roll” and the action film “Top Gun: Maverick” with Tom Cruise in the leading role also provided glamor on the Croisette this year. The festival could take place this year without the obligation to wear masks. Last year it was moved to the summer due to the corona pandemic, and in 2020 it had to be canceled due to the corona.