Oscars Roundup: “Triangle of Sadness” retches out social commentary and uncomfortable comedy



Zephyrus writers Hannah Owens Pierre and Lilly Jaeger examine each Oscar Best Picture nominee in a countdown to the awards ceremony on March 12
Palme d’Or winning film “Triangle of Sadness,” which is Swedish director Ruben Östlund’s black comedy, which premiered in October at the Cannes Film Festival. At some viewings, attendees received a promotional “Triangle of Sadness” branded barf bag to accompany their viewing. The movie follows young model couple Carl and Yaya after they are invited to a luxury cruise trip with a bunch of wealthy elites. Through the interactions between boat staff and the passengers, the film explores social classes and just how funny old people puking can be. Reading a synopsis for the film simply won’t do the concept justice, as the plot unfolds in ways that just sound obscure in writing.
The first act sets up the movie perfectly, demonstrating Ostlund’s technical skill. Snappy shifts between scenes and smart dialogue showcase the relationship between Carl and Yaya. The satire writes itself with the empty romance between the two as Yaya invests Carl into the absurdity of “influencer” culture.
Likely the best scene in the entire movie is the second act montage of cruise passengers ending up incredibly seasick. Scenes like this are what make this movie work, because the sheer awkwardness of the comedy makes you almost feel bad for laughing. “Triangle of Sadness” excels at depicting gross or weird events in a genuinely funny way.
Prior to the third act, the movie keeps the viewer on their toes with quick edits and a good mix of comedy and plot. However, just like the cruise ship, the movie slowly sinks due to how much it seems to slow down. The plot takes a turn that feels incredibly similar to 2019’s “Parasite,” which is understandable because they both approach social class power dynamics similarly, but it felt like it was missing some substance.
Overall, “Triangle of Sadness” is an entertaining watch and only falls short because of its third act. Needless to say, the one star reviews for this movie are likely from those with really weak stomachs.

Rating: 3½ /5 As memorable as JLaw falling up the stairs