Triangle Of Sadness Wins Palme d'Or At Cannes, Park Chan-Wook Wins Best Director

If you're like me, you've been paying close attention to the Cannes Film Festival so that you know which films to check out once they get a wider release. The festival's in-house awards will help narrow your watchlist.

The highest prize at Cannes since 1955 is the Palme d'Or, and the 2022 Palme winner, announced on Saturday, May 28, was "Triangle of Sadness," the latest from Swedish director Ruben Östlund. "Triangle of Sadness" is a satire following supermodel couple Carl (Harris Dickinson) and Yaya (Charlbi Dean) when they are invited on a cruise for the richest of the rich.

This marks Östlund's second Palme d'Or win; his first was for 2017's "The Square." Like "The Square," "Triangle" is an international co-production. Dickinson and Dean are English and South African, respectively, while the biggest name in the cast is Woody Harrelson as Captain Thomas Smith. The film will likewise be distributed by different companies depending on the territory, from SF Studios in Östlund's native Sweden, to Curzon Artificial Eye in the UK, to Neon in the United States.

Park Chan-wook finally wins best director

While Park Chan-wook's latest film, "Decision To Leave," lost out on the Palme d'Or, it earned Park himself the best director prize. This marks Park's first win at Cannes for Best Director, though not the first time he and his work have been honored at the festival.

Park is one of the most renowned filmmakers in his homeland of South Korea, which itself has a strong profile on the stage of world cinema (and television). He first came to international prominence for his 2003 revenge thriller, "Oldboy." That film won the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes, essentially the runner up award to the Palme. In 2009, his vampire film "Thirst" won the Jury Prize.

"Decision To Leave" marks Park's first film since 2016's "The Handmaiden," an adaptation of Sarah Waters' 2002 novel "Fingersmith," albeit with the setting changed from Victorian England to Japanese-occupied Korea. In between these films, Park also directed all six episodes of the 2018 BBC mini-series, "The Little Drummer Girl," adapted from a 1983 John le Carré novel. This was his second English language work after the 2013 film "Stoker." He will be returning to TV for an adaptation of Viet Thanh Nguyen's novel, "The Sympathizer."

"Decision To Leave," based on an original script by Park and Jeong Seo-kyeong, has been called a mystery thriller with a romantic edge. It follows a detective (Park Hae-il) simultaneously investigating and falling in love with a widow (Tang Wei).

Produced by Moho Films and presented by CJ ENM, "Decision To Leave" will be released internationally by MUBI, both via streaming and for theatrical exhibition in the US and the UK during Fall 2022.

When those of us unlucky enough to have not been at Cannes finally see these films, let us hope they live up to the hype these awards bring.