Melancholia

"Excellent"

Melancholia Review


Von Trier continues to challenge audiences with his bold, bleak storytelling.

As always, he creates a stunning visual film experience full of raw, wrenching performances. And he tackles themes that are so big that we're not quite sure what to make of it in the end.

Justine (Dunst) is feeling a bit detached on the day of her wedding to the doting Michael (Alexander Skarsgard), and her brother-in-law John (Sutherland) is annoyed that she's not enjoying the expensive party he's staging. Her sister Claire (Gainsbourg) is more understanding, even when events take a few strange turns. Later, the shattered Justine will become the voice of reason when the planet Melancholia, which has been hiding behind the sun, heads towards Earth in a dramatic fly-by. Now it's Claire who's overwhelmed with moodiness, fearing for her young son (Spurr).

The film opens with a series of achingly beautiful slow-motion tableaux that foreshadow the characters and nature going awry. Like a glimpse into the film's soul, this creates an almost unbearable intensity from the start. We share the sense of impending doom coming down on these two sisters - both the idea of marriage, which clearly went very badly for their parents (Rampling and Hurt), and the possibility of an apocalyptic collision of worlds.

The name of the threatening planet isn't exactly subtle, but von Trier tells the story with an exquisite mix of earthy humour, dark emotion and painterly cinematography (by Manuel Alberto Claro). Each scene is gorgeous to look at, even when people are moping around the sets. And each actor creates a complex character; as the film progresses, we begin to understand their erratic moodiness, even when the plot takes some outrageously ironic turns.

By the time we get to the final scene, we're gripped by the characters' experience, wondering how we'd cope in similar circumstances and kind of wishing we could give them a hug. On the other hand, we're not quite sure what von Trier's getting at. Is his point that humanity has gone too far off the rails? Or that people can find dignity and honesty even in the face of extinction? But then it doesn't really matter what he's saying when the film is this mesmerising and provocative.



Melancholia

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 130 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 26th May 2011

Box Office Worldwide: $3M

Budget: $7.4M

Production compaines: Legion Entertainment, Zentropa Entertainments, Memfis Film, Zentropa International Sweden, Slot Machine, Liberator Productions, Zentropa International Köln, Film i Väst, Danmarks Radio (DR), Sveriges Television (SVT), Canal+, Centre National du Cinéma et de L'image Animée (CNC), CinéCinéma, Edition Video, Nordisk Film Distribution, Det Danske Filminstitut, Eurimages, Swedish Film Institute, Filmstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Meta Louise Foldager,

Starring: as Justine, as Claire, as John, as Gaby, as Dexter, as Michael, as Jack, as Tim, as Wedding planner, as Little Father, Cameron Spurr as Leo, Deborah Fronko as Michael's mother

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.