I heard several weeks ago that the version of Ruben Ostland‘s The Square (Magnolia, 10.27) that was shown during last May’s Cannes Film Festival (and which resulted in a Palme d’Or win) has been edited slightly. The Wiki page says it runs 142 minutes but the Toronto Film festival page says 145 minutes. A Magnolia guy told me today that Cannes version actually ran around 149 minutes, and that Ostlund cut four to bring it down to 145.
From my Cannes Film Festival review: “The Square is a longish but exquisitely dry Swedish satire, mostly set among the wealthy, museum-supporting class in Stockholm. It’s basically a serving of deft, just-right comic absurdity (the high points being two scenes in which refined p.c. swells are confronted with unruly social behaviors) that works because of unforced, low-key performances and restrained, well-honed dialogue.
“Ostlund’s precise and meticulous handling is exactly the kind of tonal delivery that I want from comedies. There isn’t a low moment (i.e., aimed at the animals) in all of The Square, whereas many if not most American comedies are almost all low moments.
“The problem is that The Square stops being a perfect absurdist satire somewhere around the two-thirds or three-quarters mark and downshifts into a glumly moralistic thing that’s about the lead character (played by the handsome, Pierce Brosnan-ish Claes Bang) trying to face up to his errors and make things right.
“There are four stand-out moments: a post-coital confrontation moment with Elizabeth Moss, an interview with a visiting artist (Dominic West) interrupted by a guy with Tourette’s syndrome, the already notorious black-tie museum dinner ‘ape man’ scene with simian-channeller Terry Notary, and a hilariously over-provocative YouTube ad showing a little girl and a kitten being blown to bits.
“Yesterday Jordan Ruimy tweeted that The Square is Leo Carax‘s Holy Rollers mixed with Maren Ade‘s Toni Erdmann. Except I didn’t find Erdmann even vaguely funny (for me Peter Simonischek‘s performance was painful) and I was constantly chuckling and chortling during The Square, so what does that say? I’ll tell you what it says: Fuck Toni Erdmann, although I’m certainly open to the Jack Nicholson-starring remake, if and when it actually happens.”