The 2017 Cannes Film Festival came to a close on Sunday with the announcement that the Swedish comedy drama, The Square, had won the Palme d’Or prize. News of the win surprised attendees, but the Palme d’Or upset was soon forgotten, when director Ruben Ostlund stepped up to accept the award. In accepting the honor bestowed at the Cannes Film Festival, Ostlund turned the tables on the audience, as he gave those waiting for his acceptance speech an opportunity to experience the odd plot of The Square for themselves.
The Palme d’Or Award Goes To The Square
The Square takes a satirical look at life through the eyes of Ruben Ostlund, who previously directed Force Majeure in 2014, and as NBC News shares, that facetious look at society was just the key to winning the top prize at Cannes. The Square tells the story of an artist’s new exhibit, also called The Square, which serves as a social experiment as well as the artist’s vision. Once people enter The Square, they’re expected to abide by social norms and behave according to humanitarian values, but as might be expected, that’s not exactly what happens.
On accepting the Palme d’Or Award for The Square, Ostlund asked that the cameras be turned back on the audience, which was undoubtedly expecting a typical acceptance speech. Instead, Ruben asked the attendees to give him their loudest “screams of happiness” for the cameras.
“I can direct you all now because I won this prize,” said The Square director.
Claes Bang (A Soap, Take the Trash) stars as the lead in The Square, and is a source of amusement, when the theft of his phone inside The Square sabotages his feelings of compassion and altruism. As the film progresses, Bang’s character, Christian, is drawn into more humiliating situations, as others within The Square discover that normal rules of society don’t apply to The Square.
More Films Honored At The 2017 Cannes Film Festival
While The Square took the top prize at Cannes, The Hollywood Reporter reveals that there were several other worthy films honored with awards at this year’s film festival. One of the more remarkable circumstances came when Sofia Coppola became the second woman in the festival’s history to receive an award for best director, a move that proves Cannes, like other film festivals, is attempting to be more inclusive.
Coppola won the award for The Beguiled, which stars Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell. Sofia couldn’t be present to receive the award personally, so Maren Ade accepted the honor in her place.
Nicole Kidman was also honored at Cannes with a special award. Ms. Kidman starred in four different projects at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Nicole stars in Killing of a Sacred Deer, The Beguiled, and How to Talk to Girls at Parties, along with the second season of Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake.
Joaquin Phoenix received a best actor award for his role in Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here. In the film, Phoenix plays a hitman trying to save a teen prostitute.
An especially poignant moment came when Diane Kruger accepted her award for best actress in Fatih Akin’s In the Fade. The German-language film revolves around a courtroom drama that devolves into a revenge plot.
“Those trying to pick up the pieces and go on after having lost everything, please know you are not alone,” Kruger said, as she accepted the award.
In a shocking turn of events, You Were Never Really Here tied with The Killing of a Sacred Deer for best screenplay at Cannes.
A total of 19 films were entered into competition at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, judged by a panel comprised of Pedro Almodovar, Will Smith, Jessica Chastain, Fan Bingbing, Agnès Jaoui, Park Chan-wook, Maren Ade, Paolo Sorrentino, and Gabriel Yared.
[Featured Image by Magnolia Pictures]