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A Brutal Mockery of Influencers and Billionaires Seduces Cannes

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After the surprise Palme d’Or attributed to The Square, Ruben Östlund’s finely conceived, punchy, but occasionally rather pious piss-take of the art world, Cannes was waiting impatiently to see the director’s next move. His follow-up, which is in broad terms a sociopolitical satire of the influencer-led one percent, takes all of Östlund’s best qualities—namely, formal verve, an exacting eye for cringe comedy, and a riotous appetite for farce—and tumbles them together to make a film of almost pure pleasure, whose relentless attacks on the unequally privileged of our world are sledgehammer-heavy in the best way. Triangle of Sadness is an utter joy of a film, which on top of its many qualities boasts a bravura scene of sustained gross-out comedy that makes the puking sequence from Team America: World Police look like something from A Room with a View.

Triangle of Sadness—so named for the mini-frown area between a person’s eyebrows (in this case, between the beautifully-sculpted brows of gorgeous male-model Carl, played by Harris Dickinson) spends its first third in the world of modeling and influencers. We first meet Carl at an audition in the company of two dozen other pectorally-blessed demigods, and then watch him get into a painful, beautifully written argument with his South African influencer-girlfriend, Yaya, over a restaurant bill. From there, the film repairs to a cruise that the couple go on, which goes hilariously awry (and culminates in the aforementioned bowel and gut-churning sequence), and in a........

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