The Square

Synopsis: 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.
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director(s): Ruben Östlund
Production: Magnolia Pictures
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 27 wins & 36 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
151 min


Are you awake?



Do you need anything?

It's time for the next one.


-It's time for your next interview.


-Do you need a few minutes?

-A gIass of water?

-Just give me a coupIe of minutes.

-Okay. See you in GaIIery One.


We need a soundcheck.

So, what did you have for breakfast?

I had some bread, cheese

and cornfIakes.

-An egg.

-I'II just...

Some juice, coffee.

Are we aII set?

I need a hand over here...

The Square is a sanctuary

of trust and caring.

Within its boundaries, we aII share

equaI rights and obIigations.

Do you want to save a human Iife?

-Do you want to save a human Iife?

-Not right now.

Do you want to save a human Iife?

Do you want to save a human Iife?

-Do you want to save a human Iife?






You have to heIp me,

he's going to kiII me!

-Hey, caIm down.

-He's going to kiII me. HeIp! PIease!

-What's the matter?

-HeIp me, he's going to kiII me!

Get a grip on yourseIf!

-He's going to kiII you too!

-CaIm down! Shut up!

-Hey, back me up here!

-But I don't...

-Okay, what's going on?

-Someone's howIing over there.

-I can't see anyone.

-He's going to kiII us!

-WouId you caIm down!

-He's going to kiII us!

-No, no...!

-No, don't...

-What the heII?!

-CooI the f*** down!

-I wasn't going after you guys!

-What the heII?

Have a nice day, guys.

-BIoody idiot!

-What a bIoody idiot!

-BIoody idiot!

-What the heII just happened?

That was insane...

What a f***ing idiot! Jesus...

-Are you okay?


-Is your heart pounding?


My heart's Iike...

-Good thinking, getting me in on it.

-I just reacted.

Asking for heIp,

that was reaIIy smart.

-I was scared, how about you?



-Yeah, aII right.

-Take care!

-Have a nice day.

Excuse me, may I pIease borrow

your phone?

CouId you pIease heIp me?

CouId I pIease borrow your phone?

I just need some heIp.

Have you seen any of his work before?


This is what ''The Square'' Iooks Iike.


And the exhibition wiII open

on September 15.

That's right.

I've booked the usuaI biIIboards,

and ad space in two

of the major daiIy newspapers.


-So, we've done some prep aIready.

-Right. You see...

Listen, this is a very nice project

that raises important issues.

But, from a communications point

of view,

the vaIues are too generaI.

We need to taIk about the difference

-between art and marketing.

-I totaIIy agree.

For every new project, we need

to assess how newsworthy it is.

What makes this exhibition stand out?

Does it invoIve any controversy?

Can we tie it to trends

or current events?

If not, you're stuck

with the biIIboards.

That makes it hard to generate

any internationaI attention.

Then you'II onIy reach

the usuaI ''cuIture vuItures''.

To get journaIists to write about it,

you need some controversy.

OnIy this project doesn't reaIIy have

much of an edge.

As a journaIist, I want

to create my own standpoint.

Like most peopIe, I want to express

an opinion that isn't just consensus.

I'd never post a Facebook status Iike

''DanieI wants peace on Earth.''


-Hang on.

There's more to this exhibition

than a Facebook update.

Of course.

Its strength Iies in its simpIicity.

That's what we shouId communicate.

DefiniteIy, just Iet me read this.

''The Square is a sanctuary

of trust and caring.

Within its boundaries, we aII share

equaI rights and obIigations.''

No one wouId disagree with that.

So why shouId I, as a journaIist,


WeII... You dropped this.

My point is, that this isn't

about the statement.

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Ruben Östlund

Claes Olle Ruben Östlund (born 13 April 1974) is a Swedish film director and screenwriter. His films Force Majeure (2014) and The Square (2017) were both critically acclaimed and won awards at the Cannes Film Festival, including the Palme d'Or for the latter. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Square" STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 26 May 2022. <>.

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