The super-rich aren’t catching a break anytime soon.
What happens when you gather the incredibly rich and famous on one cruise ship? Normally, you’d expect nothing but glamor and opulence. However, that’s not the case for Ruben Östlund’s acclaimed movie Triangle of Sadness. The satirical dark comedy, both directed and written by Östlund himself, shows you just what happens when society’s 1% goes on a luxury cruise trip gone wrong.
Harris Dickinson plays Carl, one half of the celebrity couple embarking on the luxury ship in Triangle of Sadness. Playing his girlfriend, Yaya is the late Charlbi Dean. Dean was a talented actress whose best-known works included the 2018 superhero drama series Black Lightning, and her roles in the Spud film series. Making her breakout with this movie is Filipina actress Dolly de Leon, who stars as Abigail. Zlatko Burić stars as the foul-mouthed Russian oligarch / self-proclaimed capitalist Dimitry and taking on the role of Captain Thomas Smith, whose ideologies are the complete opposite of Dimitry’s, is none other than Woody Harrelson. The cast list also includes a whole lot of talented supporting actors, including Iris Berben, Vicki Berlin, Henrik Dorsin, Jean-Christophe Folly, Amanda Walker, Oliver Ford Davies, and Sunnyi Melles.
Blending social criticism of the uber-privileged with deliciously humorous black comedy, the movie has gone on to receive positive reactions from the audience, earning an eight-minute standing ovation at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival and a Palme d'Or award. Here’s how you can catch Triangle of Sadness.
Yes, Triangle of Sadness will be released in theaters. After having its world premiere on May 21, 2022, at the Cannes Film Festival, Neon obtained the film’s distribution rights for North America, beating out the likes of Focus Features, A24, Sony Pictures, and more.
Triangle of Sadness is scheduled for different release dates across the world. The movie premiered in France on September 28, 2022, and it will arrive in theaters in Sweden and the United States on October 7, 2022. This will be followed by releases in Germany on October 13 and in the United Kingdom on October 28. Depending on where you currently are at the moment, make sure you’re aware of these dates!
Unfortunately, Triangle of Sadness is not currently scheduled to arrive online on any streaming service. However, that doesn't necessarily mean it won't at some point so keep an eye on this space for updates on the Triangle of Sadness streaming release.
The trailer for Triangle of Sadness was released by NEON on August 9, 2022. The clip opens with Carl (Harris Dickinson), an aspiring male model working his stuff at casting (he has the chops). Along with his equally talented celebrity model girlfriend, Yaya (Charlbi Dean), Carl hops on a luxury cruise filled with eccentric and rather out-of-touch wealthy guests. At the same time, the trailer shifts to the ship’s crew, who have been taught to always say yes to the guests, no matter how ridiculous their requests are.
What was initially an Insta-worthy superyacht trip takes a turn for the worse when they are met with a turbulent storm, causing the ship to crash into massive waves. It’s only a matter of time until chaos ensues on deck, and the powerful become powerless in the face of mother nature. Don’t forget your life jackets, Triangle of Sadness is going to be one bumpy ride!
Here is the official synopsis for Triangle of Sadness:
“In Ruben Östlund’s wickedly funny Palme d’Or winner, social hierarchy is turned upside down, revealing the tawdry relationship between power and beauty. Celebrity model couple, Carl (Harris Dickinson) and Yaya (Charlbi Dean), are invited on a luxury cruise for the uber-rich, helmed by an unhinged boat captain (Woody Harrelson). What first appeared instagrammable ends catastrophically, leaving the survivors stranded on a desert island and fighting for survival.”
Luxury cruise aside, Triangle of Sadness is essentially a tale of what happens when nobody wants to entertain the wealthy anymore. With a Marx-quoting, devil-may-care American captain sailing the ship, tensions rise amongst its nefarious guests and the tables abruptly turn. Gone are the social hierarchies between the rich and poor. Class conflicts are on the rage on disorderly, choppy waters.
Plans for Triangle of Sadness were first announced in June 2017, shortly after director Östlund won the Palme d'Or for The Square. He’s described the project as somewhat of a “wild” satire with underlying themes like beauty as capital. Research for the script ensued in mid-2018, followed by casting from August to November. Casting took place in numerous cities, from Los Angeles all the way to Moscow.
After spending months scouting for locations and fine-tuning some last-minute pre-production details, principal photography for Triangle of Sadness began on February 2020. Filming took place over 73 days, which was paused for a while due to COVID-19. The film was shot in various locations, from Greek islands to the Mediterranean Sea. As for the luxury cruise? Triangle of Sadness pull out all the stops and filmed on the Christina O, a luxury ship that was once owned by Jackie Kennedy.
Since its Cannes premiere, Triangle of Sadness has amassed largely positive reviews, with a 71% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 68% score on Metacritic. Collider's Ross Bonaime has given the movie a B+ rating, calling it a "wild cruise". Read on for an excerpt from the review or check out the full article here.
Throughout Triangle of Sadness, Östlund proves himself to be a master of crafting unsettling scenarios and framing. Whenever the tension seems like it’s at its breaking point, little sound additions make these moments even more unbearable. Even just adding a particular noise, like a windshield wiper scraping across a rainy windshield, incessant flies on the deck of the boat, or a glass rolling back and forth on a floor adds so much to these situations. Östlund also beautifully sets up every frame he presents, with some unusual focal point that immediately draws the eye, like a stray dog in an audition or a random passerby outside a window, that evokes the dry comedic work of Roy Andersson. Even when the narrative might fall at awkward points, there’s always something in Östlund’s shot that makes the moment worthwhile and sucks the viewer in.
Dyah is an freelance writer based in Indonesia. When she’s not typing on her keyboard, you can find her at coffee shops or at the studio with her band Larose & Co.