The Dinner Party Scene in 'The Square'
It happens a little past the satire's midway point: Patrons in tuxedos and evening gowns have gathered for a fundraising event at a museum. The institution's director notes that one of their current artists-in-residence will be doing a "performance." A shirtless man (played by Terry Notary, who works mostly as a motion-capture performer) starts imitating an ape, climbing on tables and challenging the alpha males in the crowd. He never breaks character – even when it's time to find a "mate." And for a tense 10-plus minutes, Swedish director Ruben Östlund and his actors give you one of the set pieces of 2017: a decidedly uncomfortable look at what happens when social niceties are pushed to their breaking points and Exhibit A in the film's case that we're all just one tiny push away from polite civilization dropping its collective mask.