Ruben Östlund’s The Square, starring Claes Bang (The Bridge), Dominic West (The Wire) and Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men), is set to be the first Swedish film in 17 years to be nominated for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival (17th-28th May).
In The Square, Christian is the successful curator of a modern art museum. A few days before the opening of a prestigious exhibition he is mugged, so embarks on a hunt for the perpetrator and ends up in situations that make him question his own moral compass.
Meanwhile, Christian also has to deal with the PR agency that the museum hired to help market the upcoming exhibition – something which takes an unexpected turn and plunges both the curator and the museum into crisis.
Ruben Östlund has made no secret of his desire to compete for the Palme d’Or but, when nominees for the festival’s main category were announced last week, his name was missing from the list. Fortunately, that has now been rectified.
He told Aftonbladet: “We submitted our new movie very late. We had an indication that the selection board had time to see it and felt good about it, but Thierry Frémaux (Festival Director) had not yet seen it.”
Ruben Östlund won the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at Cannes in 2014 for Force Majeure, but Sweden hasn’t been represented in the main competition at Cannes since Liv Ullmann’s Faithless and Roy Andersson’s Songs from the Second Floor were nominated in 2000.
The last Swede to win the Palme D’Or was Alf Sjöberg for Miss Julie in 1951, although Danish director Bille August won for “Swedish” films in 1988 with Pelle the Conqueror and in 1992 with The Best Intentions.