When 'Melancholia' directed by the always controversial, Lars Von Tier, opens...there is a montage of impressionistic stills set to Wagner's 'Tristan and Isolde...
Dead birds slowly rain down from the sky, while Kirsten Dunst, dressed in a long, flowing white wedding gown, wearing a dazed expression on her face, runs through a lush, dark forest...A horse silently falls to the ground as the opera reaches a crescendo...Then we cut to...
Somewhere in Outer Space, where we see Earth and a much larger planet, gradually moving closer and closer to one another...The planet is blue and it's name is...'Melancholia'.
This montage is breathtaking and it goes on for over eight minutes...and that is how this haunting, disturbing, stunningly beautiful film begins.
I guess you can tell, I absolutely loved this movie.
'Melancholia' is broken up into three acts. The first part is called 'Justine', (played brilliantly by Kirsten Dunst). Justine, a rising advertising executive, has just married Michael (Alexander Skarsgard). When we meet them, they are being chauffeured to their wedding reception in a stretch limo and....they are over two hours late.
Their tardiness really pisses off Justine's sister, Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and her scientist hubby, John (Kiefer Sutherland). You can't really blame them...Afterall, they are the ones throwing this super expensive, super lavish, super pretentious, party for the newly married couple.
When Justine and Alexander finally arrive at Claire and John's mega mansion in the woods, Claire begs her sister not to screw this up. And to Justine's defense, she really tries hard not to. But Justine is a woman incapable of being happy. It's as if happiness is not in her genetic makeup. Okay, the girl is depressed...Really, really depressed.
Justine moves around the wedding reception, looking as if this is the last place she wants to be. We meet her cantankerous mother, Charlotte Rampling, her sad, depressed father. John Hurt, and her super sleezy boss and brand new father-in-law, Stellan Skarsgard. As the evening wears on, Justine's behavior becomes more and more erratic. Her fears and anxieties grow stronger and she slowly starts to self-destruct.
The second act of the film is from Claire's POV. She's the level-headed sister...A loving wife and doting mother to her young son....Claire assures Justine (who's now practically catatonic) that Melancholia won't collide with Earth...that the big, blue planet will simply pass us by and then simply go on its merry way.
And finally, in the end, it's the unbalanced Justine, not Claire, who remains calm, as 'Melancholia' moves closer and closer to Earth.
Kirsten Dunst won the Best Actress award at this year's Cannes Film Festival and she completely deserves it. Her performance is as mesmerizing as this fim.
'Melancholia' is definitely one of those movies that people will either love or hate...and it is definitely one of those movies that people will be affected by...for good or for bad. I know I was...and...
So was John, but not exactly in the same way. Once again the 'Two Jews On Film' were far apart on their bagel rating. I gave 'Melancholia' five bagels out of five. To see how many bagels John gave...check out our video.
'Melancholia" opens in theaters, Friday, November 11, 2011. Run, don't walk to see it.
**** out of **** "Melancholia" begins with a stunning montage of beautiful images, all somehow connected. They are meant to act as a sort of moving scrapbook for the end of the world; at the end of it all, we see a planet collide with our own, incinerating everything on it, perhaps even the water. Before that, we get extreme slow motion imagery such as a woman clutching her infant child as she walks across what looks like a golf course, another woman observing as a mysterious … more
Due to the stylized similarities within the story and the ethic and pragmatic visual poem, Melancholia feels like The Tree of Life's little brother. That's just a feeling though and nothing accurate as you cannot really put these two movies in the same bowl. Melancholia is a frivolled appearance in the art of filmmaking. It's an interesting concept that deals with smooth nuances of flamboyant storytelling and magical colors. An ambiance between, music, soul and film. While … more
Star Rating: If Melancholia is indeed a science fiction film, as Wikipedia tells us it is, it’s one that only Lars von Trier could have made. Its depiction of a rogue planet on a collision course with Earth is joined at the hip with the story of two sisters, one of whom is deeply depressed. Trier, widely known within film circles for his bouts of severe depression, claims the idea came to him during one of his therapy sessions, in which he was told that, … more
MELANCHOLIA Written and Directed by Lars von Trier Starring Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Keifer Sutherland and Alexander Skarsgard Justine: The Earth is evil. We don’t need to grieve for it. Nobody will miss it. Leave it to one of the world’s most infamously melancholic directors, Lars von Trier, to open a film with Earth as we know it coming to an abrupt demise. Dead birds drop from the sky, roots come out from the ground and people sink into the dirt beneath … more
My husband (creator of the cult classic films FACES OF DEATH) andmyself (actress/screenwriter) are ex New Yorkers, see alot of films and usually disagree. So our friends decided that we need a review … more
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