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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
2,998 ( 101)
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

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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,502,347, 22 March 2018
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

Sweden's submission to the Foreign Language Film Award of the 90th Annual Academy Awards. See more »

Goofs

In the closing titles of "The Girl With A Kitten" clip, the Hebrew version is wrong: the English noun "square" appears in Hebrew as "an open space in a city" rather than "rectangle with all sides equal"). See more »

Quotes

Christian: The Square is a sanctuary of trust and caring. Within it we all share equal rights and obligations.
See more »


Soundtracks

Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Minor, BWV 1068: II. Aria (Arr. For Voice Ensemble)
Performed by The Swingle Singers
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A very western European Satire and universal Metaphor
24 January 2018 | by milanbilan-51114See all my reviews

If you live in a advanced western European country you will be much more able to appreciate the satire of The Square. The subtle racism ingrained in the culture is very different than the racial tensions and issues in the US. A few decades ago the "dark people" of southern and eastern Europe were looked down upon in western Europe, then migrations brought in even "darker people." The disconnect between the lofty ideals of western European advanced social democracies and their privileged classes, and the realities of these "other" people moving in became more apparent.

The art scene becomes a ripe metaphor for this disconnect from reality that it portends to represent, or at least, reflect upon. It's all become about money, privilege, and, yes, ludicrous social media bytes. The Square is certainly not a perfect film, but it portrays well the uneasiness of how the privileged class tries to handle this unavoidable reality in a clumsy way, without really understanding or addressing any of the real underlying issues. In the most memorable scene, when confronted with the absurdist excess of the performance artist challenging them, they choose to ignore it as long as they can, and when they can't any more, they clobber him almost to death. Underlying it all is how we see each other as human beings beyond our classifications (if we can), and what we do to each other on a personal level; a good piece of cinema. It's also worth noting that Swedish projects look damn neat.


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