Triangle of Sadness


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Master of social discomfort Ruben Östlund trains his unsparing lens on the world of wealth, beauty, and privilege in this audacious, Palme d’Or–winning satire of our status-obsessed culture. A model-influencer couple (Harris Dickinson and Charlbi Dean) get a ticket to the luxe life when they’re invited aboard an all-expenses-paid cruise alongside a coterie of the rich and ghoulish—but an act of fate turns their Insta-perfect world upside down. Pushing each provocative set piece to its outré extreme, Östlund maps the shifting social hierarchies with the irreverence of a modern-day Luis Buñuel and the incisiveness of a cinematic anthropologist.

Picture 8/10

Ruben Östlund’s Triangle of Sadness comes to Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection, who present the film on a dual-layer disc in its original aspect ratio of 2.39:1. Oddly, Criterion’s insert doesn’t include any information on the master. Still, I’m sure the 1080p/24hz high-definition presentation is sourced from the same 4K master the UHD uses. I am working off the disc included with the 4K UHD edition. Outside of missing the 4K disc, the releases are the same.

Since the movie was shot digitally, the results will come down to both the quality of the original footage and Criterion’s encoding, and I’m happy to say it all comes out looking good. Noise is evident during a handful of darker sequences where reds are present, like the opening catwalk sequence and a nighttime sequence involving a flare, as well as a few other low-lit sections. Otherwise, the rest of the presentation is clean and renders details impressively, even the finer ones.

Colors and black levels come out looking great a lot of the time, but blacks can flatten out a bit in the last section of the film. I suspect most of it is baked into the original digital photography. Outside of those incredibly minor moments, it looks excellent.

Audio 9/10

The film comes with a 5.1 surround soundtrack presented in DTS-HD MA. The mix is pretty creative and gets periodically aggressive regarding surround activity. There’s usually always something mixed to the rear speakers, whether it’s music being played in the background (the opening catwalk, the restaurant, the various ship activities, etc.) or other sounds within the environment (waves crashing on a beach). There are then a handful of standout moments where all the channels and the lower frequency are used to significant effect, including the film’s “centerpiece” involving a storm rocking a yacht during a dinner that isn’t going too well (to say the least) or a much later moment where a storm can be heard outside an enclosed lifeboat. The viewer is placed right in the center of it, including the unpleasant noises at that dinner.

Volume and range are also superb, with a few thunderous moments, and the dialogue sounds sharp and clean with excellent fidelity. All in all, it’s an impressive audio presentation.

Extras 6/10

The features aren’t plentiful though what is provided is at least interesting. Exclusive to this release is a new discussion between director Ruben Östlund and actor Johan Jonason. With a runtime of only 19 minutes, it’s not in-depth. Still, Östlund talks about his inspirations and explains how he develops a film, usually built off a single conflict (like the avalanche in Force Majeure), and then examine how his characters will react and build from that. For Triangle of Sadness, it sounds as though he may have started with the idea of a modern “branded” couple leading to him taking aim at social hierarchies and how they shift when his characters are placed in particular situations, which of course becomes blatantly evident in the film’s last act/part. This then leads to some discussion around what the two call the film’s “pitchable” scene, the phrase referring to a scene that is usually discussed heavily after audiences see one of his films; the avalanche in Force Majeure, the monkey performance (or whatever that can be classified as) in The Square, and then the “dinner” scene in Triangle of Sadness. Altogether it’s an engaging and frank discussion, though I was a little surprised there wasn’t more about the film’s cast, with Harrelson receiving the only notable mention. Harris Dickinson and Charlbi Dean (who sadly passed away shortly after the film’s release) don’t come up.

Alas, the cast doesn’t come up anywhere else, either. There are two production featurettes, Erik, the Extra and a visual effects demonstration. Erik focuses on producer Erik Hemmendorff and his work as an extra on the film. Hemmendorff plays the poor soul who gets blasted in the yacht stairwell by a river of waste, and this 15-minute piece provides a look at the rehearsals leading up to the final shot. Amusingly, during rehearsals, Hemmendorff keeps faking his reaction to being hit by the waste, which Östlund repeatedly insists he not do. When the final scene is shot, it becomes obvious why the filmmaker was adamant about him (literally) going with the flow.

It's an amusing little piece that provides an idea of the atmosphere on set, if not perceptive. The visual effects demonstration, on the other hand—and despite its short runtime of just over 6 minutes—proves to be the most fascinating feature here. Clearly, there are CGI and practical effects in the film, but there is a lot of invisible, subtle CGI work in the movie that is not obvious in any way. This quickly edited montage of before-and-after footage gives a sampling of everything, which is apparently (according to the opening title) 83% of the images in the film. This ranges from adding floatation devices on the central yacht or adjusting the lighting and colors of a scene to editing out crew reflections in glass and cleaning up backgrounds. It even goes further when it comes to editing, including long takes or multiple takes being sewn together into what appear to be single continuous takes, cuts being removed, repositioning actors in a shot, using performances from different takes and combining them in one, or even modifying facial expressions. They even adjusted eye levels or glances. And that dog that appeared during the opening rehearsal sequence? Yep, that dog was added in. This is nothing new, with many directors, including David Fincher and Bong Joon-ho (Criterion’s Parasite has a comparable feature), famously doing similar things. However, it still never fails to amaze me how far the technology has come and how seamless it can all be.

The disc concludes with Neon’s American theatrical trailer and six deleted scenes running under 13 minutes. There are a couple of interesting moments, including an extended version of that night vision scene on the beach. An entire subplot around an engagement ring was also excised. The sequences are interesting, but I don’t think they would have added much to the movie.

The included insert features an essay on the film by author A.S. Hamrah, who tackles the film’s skewing of its assortment of characters and how the film reflects today. It’s a fine enough essay, but it doesn’t make up for the lack of academic material on the disc. In the end, the supplements are worth going through, but it’s the type of material any other studio disc would have probably featured as well.


Features leave much to be desired, but the audio and video presentations are excellent.


Directed by: Ruben Östlund
Year: 2022
Time: 147 min.
Series: The Criterion Collection
Edition #: 1178
Licensor: Neon
Release Date: April 25 2023
MSRP: $39.95
1 Disc | BD-50
2.35:1 ratio
English 5.1 DTS-HD MA Surround
Subtitles: English
Region A
 New interview with Östlund and filmmaker and actor Johan Jonason   Erik, The Extra, a short behind-the-scenes look at what producer Erik Hemmendorff had to endure as an on extra on the set of the film   Visual Effects Demonstration   Deleted Scenes   Trailer