7.2/10
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135 user 261 critic

The Square (2017)

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A prestigious Stockholm museum's chief art curator finds himself in times of both professional and personal crisis as he attempts to set up a controversial new exhibit.

Director:

Ruben Östlund

Writer:

Ruben Östlund
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Popularity
2,647 ( 133)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 33 wins & 39 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Claes Bang ... Christian
Elisabeth Moss ... Anne
Dominic West ... Julian
Terry Notary ... Oleg
Christopher Læssø Christopher Læssø ... Michael
Lise Stephenson Engström Lise Stephenson Engström ... Daughter
Lilianne Mardon Lilianne Mardon ... Daughter
Marina Schiptjenko Marina Schiptjenko ... Elna
Annica Liljeblad ... Sonja
Elijandro Edouard Elijandro Edouard ... Boy with Letter
Daniel Hallberg Daniel Hallberg ... Dark-Haired Advertising Agent
Martin Sööder Martin Sööder ... Blond Advertising Agent
John Nordling John Nordling ... Account Manager
Maja Gödicke Maja Gödicke ... Marketing First Assistant
Nicki Dar Nicki Dar ... Nicki
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Storyline

Christian is the respected curator of a contemporary art museum, a divorced but devoted father of two who drives an electric car and supports good causes. His next show is "The Square", an installation which invites passersby to altruism, reminding them of their role as responsible fellow human beings. But sometimes, it is difficult to live up to your own ideals: Christian's foolish response to the theft of his phone drags him into shameful situations. Meanwhile, the museum's PR agency has created an unexpected campaign for "The Square". The response is overblown and sends Christian, as well as the museum, into an existential crisis.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some strong sexual content, and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Sweden | Germany | France | Denmark | USA

Language:

Swedish | English | Danish

Release Date:

25 August 2017 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Квадрат See more »

Filming Locations:

Gothenburg, Sweden See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$74,233, 29 October 2017

Gross USA:

$1,502,347

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,494,054
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While "Christian" is told by the character "Michael" that he is thinking and acting in a manner "too Swedish" the irony is that the actor Claes Bang is a Dane and speaks Danish through the entire film. See more »

Goofs

During the press conference, the time displayed on Christian's LCD watch is clearly visible and jumps from 14:53 to 15:50 when we cut to a participant who asks a very short question. See more »

Quotes

Christian: If you place an object in a museum does that make this object a piece of art?
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Oscars (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Genesis
Performed by Justice
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User Reviews

 
A strange, uncomfortable and fascinating look at society
20 July 2017 | by Jesse_UngSee all my reviews

This is a hard film to describe and an even harder film to review but I'm going to try my best to express how I felt about it.

In an attempt to put it simply, The Square follows a modern art museum curator named Christian (played by Claes Bang), and some increasingly strange experiences which shape his views and understandings of the world he lives in and the people around him.

I had the chance to see this film on opening night at the New Zealand International Film Festival, and I am so glad I did. The Square plays like an increasingly bizarre farce, and while the film is indeed very funny (sometimes in shocking ways) it provides a consistently fascinating look at our behavior as people in society. Now I realize that isn't necessarily innovative for a film in 2017, but that said, The Square dares to pose increasingly uncomfortable questions to its audience.

From the inherent narcissism of even the most ordinary of people, to the shallowness of popular culture, to the complex behaviors and interactions between people of disparate backgrounds. Again, these ideas are not necessarily novel, but the film presents them in a way that is consistently entertaining - even when certain exchanges on- screen are uncomfortable. There is a scene that takes place at a gathering of elite artists and sponsors that is as squirm-inducing as anything I've seen all year. I also must point out the constant use of dead-pan humor with verbal and visual gags throughout as one of the film's secret weapons.

I would warn that this is not a film for everyone. The pacing is uneven, the structure is unusual, and there isn't a whole lot of forward momentum to propel the film forward. But, if you are willing to meet the film halfway, I think you're in for a fascinating, shocking, hilarious and uncomfortable (skewered) mirror into the society we live in.


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