Satirizing the rich through art is hardly new, but in the past few years, the so-called genre has risen in interest and popularity, if in the form of homicide mystery à la Knives Out or dramedy like The White Lotus. Perhaps we’re drawn to them because of the schadenfreude (okay, Jennifer Coolidge’s Tanya and Benoit Blanc’s accent are selling points too); even if we can’t hold the Elon Musks of the world accountable in real life, watching them obtain tortured on vacation or turn against each other for an inheritance can feel like the slightest taste of revenge. In these stories, those who’ve exploited other individuals or reduce corners to accomplish their wealth actually obtain what they deserve. In Triangle of Sadness, Swedish filmmaker Ruben Östlund takes that to an extreme degree.
His Palme d'Or winner at Cannes, and now Best Picture contender at the Oscars, doesn’t just create its rich and beautiful characters uncomfortable—it forces them into the most disgusting, vile situations with no escape. (It’s set on a cruise ship and on a deserted island, after all). The movie follows model-influencer couple Yaya (Charlbi Dean Kriek) and Carl (Harris Dickson) who obtain a free trip on a luxurious yacht cruise, which soon goes to shit, literally. (If you have a weak gag reflex, perhaps don’t watch this one after a full meal.)
The outrageous dramedy is up for multiple Oscars this year, including Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for Östlund. However, breakout star Dolly De Leon was criminally snubbed for her supporting role. Once you obtain to the third act, you’ll see what the Academy is missing.
Triangle of Sadness isn’t streaming just yet, but it is available to rent and buy on platforms like Prime Video and Apple TV+. Check out the options below.
Erica Gonzales is the Senior Culture Editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage on TV, movies, music, books, and more. She was formerly an editor at HarpersBAZAAR.com. There is a 75 percent possibility she's listening to Lorde right now.