Ruben Ostlund’s Palme d’Or winner The Square is Sweden’s choice to represent it in the race for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. This is Ostlund’s third time at the rodeo for the Scandinavian country; his Involuntary was in the running in 2009 and he made the shortlist with 2014’s Force Majeure — before being shockingly omitted from the nominations.
When the filmmaker did not get a nom in 2015, he released a video that included what he called a “worst man-cry.” Today, he said, “I had a terrible experience last time. Watch the YouTube clip ‘Swedish director freaks out when he misses out on Oscar nomination’ and you’ll see what I mean. I really hope it’s less painful this time round.” (At Cannes in May, he led the audience in a primal scream “of happiness.”)
The Square stars Claes Bang, Elisabeth Moss and Dominic West. The satirical drama set in the art world is about a sense of community, moral courage and the affluent person’s need for egocentricity in an increasingly uncertain world. Ostlund also wrote the script.
The film releases Friday in Sweden via TriArt Film. Magnolia has it domestically with a limited release set for October 27. Before that, it heads to the Toronto and New York film festivals.
Producers are Erik Hemmendorff of Plattform Produktion and Philippe Bober of Coproduction Office. Film i Väst, SVT, Imperative Entertainment, Essential Films, Parisienne de Production, Coproduction Office ApS, ZDF/Arte and Arte France Cinéma are co-rpdoucers, with support from the Swedish Film Institute, Nordisk Film & TV Fond, Eurimages, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, the Danish Film Institute and Alamode FilmVerleih, TriArt Film and DR.
The Coproduction Office has international sales. Sweden last had a Foreign Language Oscar nomination just this year with Hannes Holm’s A Man Called Ove.
2017 Foreign Language Film Oscar Submissions
- Azerbaijan – Pomegranate Orchard – Ilgar Najaf
- Bosnia and Herzegovina – Men Don’t Cry – Alena Drljevića
- Dominican Republic – Woodpeckers – José Maria Cabral
- Iraq – The Dark Wind – Hussein Hussan
- Nepal – Seto Surya (White Sun) – Deepak Rauniyar
- Sweden – The Square – Ruben Östlund
- Switzerland – The Divine Order – Petra Volpe