When news broke that Ruben Östlund's eccentric, sprawling satire on the flaws of the art world had won Cannes' top honor, film buffs were left scratching their heads. Critics lauded The Square as "laugh-out-loud funny," "lacerating," and "brilliant"—but on the whole, just too damn bizarre to take home the award. Now, we've finally got a chance to see what all the fuss is about.
Magnolia Pictures dropped the first trailer for The Square Wednesday, plunging us straight into the high-society shit-show the film picks apart. We're immediately introduced to Christian (Claes Bang), a suave curator at a prestigious modern art museum in Stockholm. It's clear from the way he describes the joint to an American journalist named Anne (Elisabeth Moss) that he's a snob—the kind of bougie, self-important Art Guy it's hard not to hate. He's hoping to make a big splash with the latest addition to his collection, "The Square," a delineated space outside the museum in which "everyone has equal rights and responsibilities." But soon, Christian's life begins to spiral out of control.
The curator gets robbed of his phone and wallet, tracking them down to a nearby housing project and placing fliers in every unit to get them back—a move that eventually comes to haunt him, according to Variety. After he hooks up with Anne, she discovers he's got a serious habit of sleeping with girls he doesn't know (or care about)—evidenced by the fact he can't remember her name. Meanwhile, a performance piece at an important dinner runs off the rails, and the PR team promoting "The Square" makes an irrevocable blunder. Long story short, everything goes to shit.
We get a taste of all this in the trailer, along with a sense of the film's balance of suspense, humor, and an ability to make you squirm. Though some have complained about The Square's lengthy run time—at more than two-and-a-half hours, it's a bit of a behemoth—from the looks of the trailer, it'll be more than worth the long watch.
Check out the trailer for The Square above, and catch it in theaters when it premieres October 27.