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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
3,071 ( 134)
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
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

The preliminary study of "The Square" was "Rutan" (The Square), an exhibition at Vandalorum in Värnamo, Sweden, in spring 2015, where director Ruben Östlund and film producer Kalle Boman wanted to examine the trust they felt towards each other. Pictures from the exhibition are included in the film. 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

 
Written, Directed and Edited by one person is always trouble
22 February 2019 | by markfranhSee all my reviews

Like almost everyone else reviewing here, my wife and I found this way, way too long. Maybe 45 minutes too long. Maybe an hour.

Scene after scene we found ourselves remarking to each other, "what was the point of that?" Just one example: the scene with the ape street performer ran for something like 7-8 minutes. We thought it could have been done in a fraction of that and nothing would have been lost. Then I later thought they could have done without it entirely and I'm not sure anything would have been lost.

The scene with the museum director given the speech on the steps of the foyer? What was the point? What did it add? Nothing that we could see.

Scene after scene we turned to each other and asked the same question.

So instead of being a tight 1:30 to 1:45 movie, this ran on for a tedious 2 and a half hours.

I have a personal rule of thumb when it comes to films. Movies that are written and directed by the same person are so often self-indulgent. I'm going to have to amend that to: movies written, directed and edited by the same person are invariably self-indulgent and way too long.

A good director here would have told the writer what was wrong with the script and suggested what needed to be rewritten. A good editor would have gone back to the director and told him that it was running too long and that by cutting this or that that the result would have been better.

Unfortunately this film has, needless to say, the same person in all three roles. and as a result, it's way too long and was just tedious.

Sorry, but I just don't understand the rave reviews some have given this. Yes, this is ALMOST a good film. But only ALMOST.


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