Satirizing the rich through art is hardly new, but in the past few years, the so-called genre has risen in interest and popularity, whether in the form of murder 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 get 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 people or cut corners to achieve their wealth actually get what they deserve. In Triangle of Sadness, Swedish filmmaker Ruben Östlund takes that to an extreme degree.
“I wanted to create a roller-coaster ride for adults,” he said during a Deadline panel in February.
His Palme d’Or winner at Cannes, and now Best Picture contender at the Oscars, doesn’t just make 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 film follows model-influencer couple Yaya (Charlbi Dean Kriek) and Carl (Harris Dickson) who get a free trip on a luxurious yacht cruise, which soon goes to shit, literally. (If you have a weak gag reflex, maybe 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 get to the third act, you’ll see what the Academy is missing.
Triangle of Sadness is streaming on Hulu, and 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 previously an editor at HarpersBAZAAR.com. There is a 75 percent chance she’s listening to Lorde right now.