“The Square,” director Ruben Östlund’s film which was awarded the Palme d’Or at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, has been selected to represent Sweden as its official 2018 Oscar® entry for Best Foreign Language Film.
The film, a sprawling and daringly surreal art world satire, stars Claes Bang, Elisabeth Moss, Dominic West and Terry Notary. “The Square” will have its North American premiere as a Special Presentation during the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and will also screen at the 2017 New York Film Festival.
This is Östlund’s third time representing Sweden at the Academy Awards, following “Involuntary” (2009) and Golden Globe nominee “Force Majeure” (2014), which was famously snubbed as a Best Foreign Language Film nominee after having been one of nine films to make the initial shortlist. Östlund’s devastated reaction to the snub, which was recorded, went viral. Commenting on “The Square”‘s selection, Östlund said that he “hopes it’s less painful this time around.”
“The Square” stars Claes Bang as Christian, the respected chief curator of a prestigious contemporary art museum. Tall and impeccable, he is a divorced but devoted father of two who drives an electric car and supports good causes. His next show is “The Square”, an installation which serves as a symbol of the basic social contract – a literal square which reminds us of our roles as responsible fellow human beings. But when Christian’s phone and wallet are stolen, his foolish response tests this notion and drags him into a series of shameful and hilarious situations. Meanwhile, the museum’s PR agency has created an unexpected campaign for “The Square,” to which the response is overblown, which sends Christian, as well as the museum, into an existential crisis. With stunning set pieces featuring Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale) as a journalist with whom Christian becomes entangled, Dominic West (“The Affair”) as a famous artist whose patience is continually tested, and motion capture actor Terry Notary (“War For the Planet of the Apes”) as a performance artist frighteningly committed to his craft, “The Square” is a riotous piece of high-wire sociological suspense.
Magnolia Pictures, which pre-bought “The Square” and also distributed “Force Majeur,” will release the film in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, October 27, with a national rollout to follow.