'The Square,' Palme d'Or winner at Cannes, skewers art world pretensions in first trailer

The Palme d’Or, handed out annually by the jury at the Cannes Film Festival, is one of international cinema’s most prestigious awards. In an amusing twist, this year’s Palme went to a film that gleefully pokes prestige in the eye. The Square is the latest sociological satire from Swedish director Ruben Östlund, whose previous film, Force Majeure, won the Jury Prize at Cannes in 2014. That earlier film took pointed aim at marital gender dynamics and toxic masculinity; The Square, meanwhile, is an exacting send-up of the cultural elitism that can pervade the modern art world. The just-released trailer for the film (watch it above) showcases Östlund’s wry wit, as well as the eclectic cast he recruited for the film, including Elisabeth Moss, Dominic West, and Terry Notary.

Set in a cutting edge Swedish art museum that’s struggling to make a name for itself, The Square follows the institution’s easily distractible head curator, Christian (Claes Bang), who is in the process of launching his next big instillation. Unfortunately, a series of bad decisions, bad behavior, and just plain bad luck repeatedly complicate his efforts. Moss (TV’s The Handmaid’s Tale) plays a visiting journalist who has an awkward professional and personal encounter with Christian, while Notary — who played Rocket, Caesar’s rival-turned-loyal follower, in the just-concluded Planet of the Apes trilogy — gets to show off what his formidable ape acting skills look like outside of the motion capture suit. Perhaps you too will go ape for The Square when it opens in theaters on Oct. 27.

Ruben Östlund’s ‘Force Majeure’: Watch a clip:

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