25. “Triangle of Sadness” (dir. Ruben Östlund)
Rich people on a cruise ship puke their guts out as a wild, drunken Marxist captain played by Woody Harrelson mocks them on a loudspeaker. This extended sequence in writer/director Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or-winning “Triangle of Sadness” is the kind of ballsy and twisted black comic set piece that splits the difference between Luis Buñuel and the Marx brothers — a slapstick takedown of the one percent that has fun watching them sink.
But Östlund’s outlandish romp is memorable for much more than that: It’s a wry satire of the fashion world, a playful riff on “Lord of the Flies,” a joyful ribbing of the hospitality industry, and a serious look at how societal imbalances can lead to cruelty, lies, and reckless power games. It’s about everything, basically: a broken world of hierarchies always on the verge of collapse. But it’s also great escapism, showing that laughter is the best medicine for staring down the hypocrisies of our times. —Eric Kohn