PopEntertainment.com

It's all the entertainment you need!

 

FEATURE STORIES MOVIE REVIEWS MUSIC REVIEWS BOX SET REVIEWS TV SHOWS ON DVD CONTESTS CONCERT PHOTOS

 

  FEATURE STORIES
  INTERVIEWS A TO E
  INTERVIEWS F TO J
  INTERVIEWS K TO O
  INTERVIEWS P TO T
  INTERVIEWS U TO Z
  INTERVIEWS ACTORS
  INTERVIEWS ACTRESSES
  INTERVIEWS BOOKS
  INTERVIEWS DIRECTORS AND SCREENWRITERS
  INTERVIEWS MUSIC
  INTERVIEWS OSCAR NOMINEES
  INTERVIEWS THEATER
  IN MEMORIAM
  REVIEWS
  MOVIE REVIEWS
  MUSIC REVIEWS
  CONCERT REVIEWS
  BOX SET REPORT CARD
  TV SHOWS ON DVD
  MISCELLANEOUS STUFF & NONSENSE
  CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY
  LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
  CONTESTS
  LINKS
  MASTHEAD
  EMAIL US

"WILD YEARS-THE MUSIC & MYTH OF TOM WAITS" BY JAY S. JACOBS

AVAILABLE IN BOOK STORES EVERYWHERE!

 

PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > Movie Reviews > The Square

MOVIE REVIEWS

The Square

THE SQUARE (2017)

Starring Claes Bang, Elisabeth Moss, Dominic West, Terry Notary, Linda Anborg, Christopher Laesso, Annica Liljeblad, Emelie Beckius, Jan Lindwall, Marina Schiptjenko, Elijandro Edouard, Daniel Hallberg, Martin Sööder, Sofie Hamilton, Peter Diaz, Sarah Giercksky and Kolya Hardy.

Screenplay by Ruben Östlund.

Directed by Ruben Östlund.

Distributed by Magnolia Pictures. 148 minutes. Not Rated.

Sharper Image

Alibris: Books, Music, & Movies

Shop Aeropostale

VenueKings.com provides Sporting, Concert & Theater Tickets throughout North America. Find Tickets Now!

The Square

Screened at the 2017 Philadelphia Film Festival.

Director Ruben Östlund impressed a few years ago with his deceptively deep breakthrough film Force Majeure, a dark comedy/drama about a couple whose marital cracks are magnified after the husband fails to try to save his family during an avalanche at a Swiss chalet, and what happens when it turns out to be something of a false alarm and they all survive. It was an incisive exploration of family relations, sexual roles, heroism and societal expectations.

His follow-up, The Square, takes a similarly vicious sharp blade to the world of modern art, starting off as a truly visionary satirical work, but honestly running out of steam well before the two-and-a-half-hour run time has passed.

The basic premise of The Square is very simple. The Royal Museum of Stockholm is converted to the “X-Royal” Museum, a temple of modern art dedicated to the concept that anything and everything can be art. However, if anything can be art, is anything really art?

The newly rebooted museum features exhibits like a room full of piles of gravel (which the cleaning crew regularly messes up in overnight cleanings), a huge sculpture of… something… which hangs from the roof and makes obnoxious clanging sounds, and giant neon signs which tauntingly read things like “You Have Nothing.”

The main new piece of art is the title exhibit, though, a large square in the sidewalk, bordered by lights, which is supposed to be a safe space for contemplation.

The film follows the adventures of the museum’s curator, a slick and handsome guy named Christian (Claes Bang) who is put in charge of selling this new vision of the place to the public.

Early in the film, Christian walks out into the museum’s courtyard and hears marketers asking passersby “What would you do to save a life?” as they walk past the motionless sleeping bodies of homeless men and women.

So, yeah, this isn’t going to be a subtle film.

The subtlety continues to spin out until we eventually reach a scene that starts off somewhat fascinating, but way overstays its welcome, in which an aggressive artist terrorizes a rich charity dinner.

Other oddball scenes include an artist’s press conference being interrupted by the obscene screams of a man in the crowd, but everyone there is afraid to interrupt him or throw him out because he may have Tourette’s syndrome.

And that’s not even taking into account many of the side-plots, like when Christian’s wallet and phone are stolen and he and his assistant come up with a hackneyed idea to get them back, which crazily works, but also offends everybody in an entire apartment building. Or the insanely offensive advertisement that a couple of millennial museum workers put together, just to be edgy.

American actors Elisabeth Moss and Domenic West pop in from time to time as a smitten journalist and a pretentious artist.

There are lots of funny – if slightly obvious – jabs at the pretentions of the art world. But like I said earlier, it eventually just goes on much longer than it need. The points were made, why keep beating on them?

Still, The Square does have some of the most thought-provoking and oddly funny scenes you’re going to find.

You’ve got to give writer/director Östlund this – he may overreach sometimes, but they guy is fearless. In some ways, The Square is as pretentious as anything in its fictional museum, but it is also a savage takedown on high society. It could have used some pruning, but I’m glad I saw it.

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright ©2017 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: October 27, 2017.

 Delicious Fresh Baked Cookies from David's Cookies. All different sizes and flavors!

Enter Gotham City with Batman Costumes from Spirit Halloween! Protect or destroy the city as Batgirl, Robin, or the Joker. Shop now!

Shop Aeropostale

Yahoo Stores - 468x60

RETURN TO MOVIE REVIEWS MENU

Technology Used by Successwful Businesses

125X125

Copyright ©2017 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: October 27, 2017.

Webroot Inc.

Introducing BEYOND by Ashley Graham - designer dresses in Misses and Plus Size at dressbarn.com!