Melancholia: movie review

imageIt’s the end of the world as we know it for Kirsten Dunst and Kiefer Sutherland. But do they feel fine?

What’s the story?
On her wedding day, Justine (Kirsten Dunst) succumbs to a depression that ruins the best-laid plans of sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and her husband John (Kiefer Sutherland). Might her mood be connected to the giant blue planet plunging towards Earth?

What did we think?
Melancholia can’t hope to be as provocative as von Trier’s previous film, the bonkers Antichrist. For a picture with such a spectacular premise, it’s also oddly sluggish. Yet Dunst’s performance is one of her best and there are moments of some heart-stopping beauty en route to a boldly downbeat finale.

After unveiling his newest movie at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Danish director Lars von Trier promptly got himself declared a “persona non grata” for making some ill-advised comments about Hitler, Nazis and Israel. The irony is that Melancholia is one of his least contentious films to date, even if it does involve a galactic cataclysm that will obliterate life as we know it.

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