Ruben Ostlund wins his second Palme d'Or with 'Triangle of Sadness', a bestial eschatological satire

Rarely had so many laughs been heard at the Cannes Film Festival as at the screening of Triangle of sadness. Ruben Ostlund's bestial, acid and scatological satire drew laughter and applause on several occasions during its screening. It seems that the jury chaired by Vincent Lindon also felt the same, because they have given the Swedish director the Palme d'Or for the best film of a Cannes edition in which no film provoked a consensus like the one that existed on other occasions. A hilarious farce about the rich that stirs up everything in its path: men, false allies, influencers, models, but especially the rich. Everything fits under Ostlund's scalpel, who had already won this award for another satire, The Square. Go to the short list of filmmakers who have two Palme d'Or.

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A list of winners that left out the most radical and authorial proposal of the entire Official Section, that of the Spanish Albert Serra, who blew everyone's minds with Pacifiction, although not the jury. Many assumed that, at least, the award for Best Actor would be theirs for an immeasurable Benoit Magimel as a French high commissioner in a decadent Tahiti. Magimel may have regretted the fact that he already had an acting award at Cannes for Michael Haneke's The Pianist. His award went to Korean star Song Kang-ho, the lead in Hiruklazu Kore-Eda's new film Broker. A drama about 'baby boxes', where newborn babies can be abandoned in Korea. Song Kang-ho -known for being one of the protagonists of Parasite- plays a person who picks up children and looks for a family for them.

The second most important prize, the Grand Jury Prize, was shared by Claire Denis and Lukas Dhont. The first, a veteran director who, with a film that had disappointed critics, won her first major award at Cannes. Stars at Noon is a hypnotic but unsuccessful film about a journalist who cannot leave Nicaragua and who finds support in a mysterious British man who comes to do business. Too much award for a work that is not among Denis's best films.

Dhont, for his part, sounded in all the pools as the great favorite for the Palme d'Or for his moving Close. He was left at the gates, but at 32 years old he has a long career to achieve it. Close is a delicate, sensitive and intelligent piece of work that deals with thorny issues such as suicide, grief and guilt. Also an x-ray of how masculinity is constructed in our society and how children who do not behave according to the canons of what a boy should be are pointed out. All thanks to the relationship of two 12-year-old friends who, when they arrive at school, are designated as boyfriends.

For her part, Zahra Amir Ebrahimi was chosen as the best female performance at a Cannes where the roles for women shone. Holy Spider is a film that rests on her powerful performance as a journalist investigating the murders of prostitutes in Iran. A film based on a true event with which the director Ali Abbasi makes a brutal x-ray of the machismo of his country of origin. Amir Ebrahimi had to flee her country, Iran, when a sex tape of hers was leaked, and now, thanks to "the generosity" of the director, she has achieved this well-deserved recognition.

Cannes pulled out of its sleeve -of course- a special award to commemorate its 75th anniversary. It was for the Dardenne brothers, directors who already have two Golden Palms to their credit and who, with the forceful Tori and Lokita, a beautiful and harsh portrait of immigration, were favorites of all. The jury decided to give them this award instead of giving them the highest recognition and placing them as the directors with the most Palms d'Or. A new recognition for two of the most committed directors in European cinema.

Another veteran, the Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski, who could not be at the presentation of his film, did make it to Cannes and picked up the Jury Prize for Eo, a film that analyzes his country from the perspective of a donkey. In fact, the director dedicated the film to the donkeys that gave life to the animal and ended his speech with a bray. A visually impressive film that shared the prize with The Eight Mountains, by Charlotte Vandermeersch and Felix Van Groeningen, one of the most desired films in the festival market after moving on one of the first days of competition. A film that speaks “of life in all its strength and its fragility”.

The roundest film in the Official Selection had to be confirmed with the award for Best Director. Park Chan-Wook won the award for his impeccable Decision to Leave, a police thriller where a detective falls in love with the main suspect in a crime. A romantic, tense and visually overwhelming story, full of visual decisions that surprise and leave the viewer glued to his seat. One of the great films of this Cannes. More surprising was the award for Best Screenplay for Tarik Saleh for Boy from heaven, a competent political thriller set in Egypt that did not appear among the favorites.

Thus concludes a Cannes of irregular level but that did fulfill a mission. Carry out a closed and iron defense of movie theaters in a complex and delicate moment. They did it without opening up to Netflix, giving an award to the latest champion of the theaters, a Tom Cruise who premiered at the Top Gun: Maverick contest. And finally, they reaffirmed it by giving the award to one of those authors who perfectly combine the artistic and the commercial. Triangle of sadness is a comedy that has everything to become a mass phenomenon that shows that a Palme d'Or also draws people to theaters.

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