Ruben Östlund Denied Oscar By Fantastic Woman

At the 90th Academy Awards, held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday, Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or winner The Square was denied the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film by Sebastián Lelio’s A Fantastic Woman (Chile), about a transgender singer who faces discrimination after the death of her boyfriend.

Ruben Östlund told SVT: “We are fine about it… It’s so hard to predict the outcome, so I didn’t have any real expectations. I felt that An Amazing Woman was difficult to beat based on the rumours. But it was very nice to hear the cheer when they showed The Square in there, and we felt like winners. Then things moved very quickly and we no longer felt like winners.”

He later revealed to friends and colleagues how he had planned to accept the award, had he won: “I have all the names of those who worked on the film written on my arm. I would have shown my arms, said ‘thank you’ and walked off.”

However, lead actor from the film, Claes Bang took the blow less well. He told Ritzau: “It’s terrible, I’m furious… Now I will stand at the bar and order a big glass of white wine, and then I will try to rinse the disappointment away with it… but even though it’s a crying shame, we can handle it and of course we will go out and party.”

Meanwhile, Dan Laustsen’s work on The Shape Of Water was edged out in the race for Best Cinematography by the legendary Roger Deakins who was honoured for Blade Runner 2049. However, Laustsen still made an appearance on stage when he joined the crew of The Shape Of Water to collect the award for Best Picture.

Laustsen said: “I think it’s amazing that Guillermo (del Toro) won Best Director and that we won Best Picture. It was nice to be there on stage with one’s colleagues… Now we are going for dinner and a party, and then it’s back to the hotel to pack suitcases, because it’s time to back to normal life.”