Triangle of Sadness wins Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Fest, giving Ruben Östlund coveted second award

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Triangle of Sadness wins Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Fest, giving Ruben Östlund coveted second award

Swedish director Ruben Östlund’s class warfare comedy, Triangle of Sadness, has won the Palme d’Or at the 75th Cannes Film Festival, giving Östlund one of cinema’s most prestigious prizes for the second time.

Key points:

  • Ruben Östlund won the top award in Cannes a first time in 2017
  • Korean star Song Kang Ho won best actor for his performance in Broker
  • Zar Amir Ebrahimi won best actress for her role in Ali Abbasi’s Holy Spider

Östlund — whose art-world send-up, The Square, took the Palme in 2017 — pulled off the rare feat on Saturday, local time, of winning the top Cannes award for back-to-back films.

Triangle of Sadness — which features Woody Harrelson as a Marxist yacht captain and a climactic scene with rampant vomiting — pushes the satire even further.

“We wanted after the screening [for people] to go out together and have something to talk about,” Östlund said.

“All of us agree that the unique thing with cinema is that we’re watching together. So we have to save something to talk about but we should also have fun and be entertained.”

The awards were judged by a nine-member jury headed by French actor Vincent Lindon and were presented in a closing ceremony inside Cannes’ Grand Lumière Theatre.

Eight people lined up on red carpet in formal attire

Eight people lined up on red carpet in formal attire

Jury President Vincent Lindon (centre) poses with (from left) jury members Ladj Ly, Jeff Nichols, Rebecca Hall, Jasmine Trinca, Joachim Trier, Deepika Padukone and Asghar Farhadi.(AP: Joel C Ryan)

The jury’s second prize, the Grand Prix, was shared between the Belgian director Lukas Dhont’s tender boyhood drama, Close — about two 13-year-old boys whose bond is tragically separated after their intimacy is mocked by schoolmates — and French filmmaking legend Claire Denis’ Stars at Noon, a Denis Johnson adaptation starring Margaret Qualley as a journalist in Nicaragua.

South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook (Oldboy and The Handmaiden) took home the directing prize for his twisty noir, Decision to Leave, a romance fused with a police procedural.

Korean star Song Kang Ho was named best actor for his performance in Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s film, Broker, about a Korean family seeking a home for an abandoned baby.

Song Kang-ho, winner of the award for best actor for 'Broker,' poses for photographers

Song Kang-ho, winner of the award for best actor for 'Broker,' poses for photographers

Song Kang-ho won the Best Male Actor award for his role in Broker by Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda.(AP: Petros Giannakouris)

“I’d like to thank all those who appreciate Korean cinema,” said Song, who also starred in Bong Joon Ho’s Palme d’Or-winning film, Parasite, in Cannes three years ago.

Best actress went to Zar Amir Ebrahimi for her performance as a journalist in Ali Abbasi’s Holy Spider, a true-crime thriller about a serial killer targeting sex workers in the Iranian religious city of Mashhad.

Violent and graphic, Holy Spider wasn’t permitted to shoot in Iran and, instead, was made in Jordan. Accepting the award, Ebrahimi said the film depicted “everything that’s impossible to show in Iran”.

Zahra Amir Ebrahimi, winner of the award for best actress for 'Holy Spider' poses for photographers

Zahra Amir Ebrahimi, winner of the award for best actress for 'Holy Spider' poses for photographers

Zahra Amir Ebrahimi Best Actress for her role in Holy Spider.(AP: Vianney Le Caer)

The jury prize was split between the friendship tale The Eight Mountains, by Charlotte Vandermeersch and Felix Van Groeningen, and Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski’s EO, about a donkey’s journey across a pitiless modern Europe.

“I would like to thank my donkeys,” said Skolimowski, who proceeded to thank all six donkeys used in the film by name.

The jury also awarded a special award for the 75th Cannes to Belgian directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne — two-time Palme D’Or winners and long a regular presence at the festival — for their immigrant drama, Tori and Lokita.

Swedish-Egyptian filmmaker Tarik Saleh took best screenplay at Cannes for Boy From Heaven, a thriller set in Cairo’s Al-Azhar Mosque.

The award for best first film, the Camera d’Or, went to Riley Keough and Gina Gammell for War Pony, a drama about the Pine Ridge Reservation made in collaboration with Oglala Lakota and Sicangu Lakota citizens.

Cannes returns post-COVID

Saturday’s closing ceremony drew the curtains on a Cannes that attempted to fully resuscitate the annual France extravaganza that was cancelled in 2020 by the pandemic and saw modest crowds last year.

This year’s festival also unspooled against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, which sparked red-carpet protests and a dialogue about the purpose of cinema in wartime.

Last year, the French body horror thriller Titane took the top prize at Cannes, making director Julia Decournau only the second female filmmaker ever to win the Palme D’Or.

In 2019, Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite triumphed in Cannes before doing the same at the Academy Awards.

This year, the biggest Hollywood films at Cannes — Elvis, Top Gun: Maverick, Three Thousand Years of Longing — played outside Cannes’ competition line-up of 21 films.

However, their presence helped restore some of Cannes’ glamour after the pandemic scaled-down festivities over the past two years.



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