After the powerful and dizzying effect of Antichrist, a film that will always be discussed for several extremely ballsy shot choices (if nothing else), I was very curious to see what the reclusive Lars Von trier would come with next. Melancholia opens with a similarly beautiful super slo mo sequence, but never quite goes as far to push the viewers shock button throughout. I think this film is better for it. Kirsten Dunst gives a surprisingly raw performance, and Von Trier does a great job at accentuating the dual sources of dread that permeate the tone of the film. Depression at it’s deepest level, and an impending asteroid strike that will…you know…end the world.
Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia, a meditation on depression and the end of the world, stars Kirsten Dunst as an emotionally troubled newlywed named Justine, whose sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg) throws her a lavish wedding party. While her lack of emotional stability begins to take a toll on Justine’s new marriage as well as the party — and old wounds are exposed — Claire’s wealthy husband John (Kiefer Sutherland) also knows a great deal about a planet that is on a possible collision course with Earth, further muddying the waters. The second half of the movie focuses on Claire, who ends up taking her sister in after the marriage collapses, and also begins to fear that John is hiding apocalyptically bad news. John Hurt and Charlotte Rampling co-star. Melancholia screened at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi