Triangle of Sadness (2022)
I have to admit to a certain amount of private delight at this latest piece from Ruben Östlund. Rarely have I anticipated a project more than this effort for quite some time. Being this years' winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes, you know you can expect lashings of greatness all over the place.
Not many people win the award twice (he also won for The Square in 2017), but such is the inarguable excellence and notoriety of his work, you really cannot say it isn't deserved.
Here, he takes what might be described as unsavoury relish at just how the tables could be turned, the true value of wealth and the relevance of unearned opinion.
"Basically, all of my films are about people trying to avoid losing face."
"I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here" is a very popular television show in the UK. Celebrities are forced to live in the jungle for weeks on end with next to nothing to eat apart from what they earn when doing challenges that normally involve intense suffering, be it physical or mental. The public then choose who gets sent home, back to their comfy lifestyle and the luxuries they would normally take for granted. They're paid an enormous amount of money to take part, of course, but it is the power to make these monied wealthy famous faces suffer at the whim of the proles that make it such intriguing viewing. A modern take, perhaps, on unbridled sadism without consequence.
And here, the vagaries of reality, in spite of today's societal pursuit of what we all need the least is revealed, up close and personal, in favour of anything else more truly valuable. Yes, at times it's quite disgusting to witness, but no more disgusting than the people we are watching suffering for their bank balances.
Such polite revulsion is rarely witnessed. Monty Python realised the comedy element of tragedy in gluttony when they brought us Mr Creosote and the 'eat the rich' approach to levelling the playing field is as satisfyingly meted out here as much as anywhere. The only real surprise is how it hasn't been done this effectively in the forty odd years in between then and now. A movie that Hollywood would never so much as imagine, much less make.
At nearly two and a half hours, it doesn't rush, but never during the runtime does it feel laboured. The characters are supremely well-delivered and perfectly realised, with effective, eclectic pacing. This is the work of an obnoxiously talented filmmaker that deserves even more plaudits than it has already garnered.