Directed by: Lars von Trier
Written by: Lars von Trier
Two sisters find their already strained relationship challenged as a mysterious new planet threatens to collide into the Earth.
Holy moly, what a depressing and eye opening film. Right from the very beginning, Lars von Trier set the tone of the film shooting slow motion visual spectacles that lasted for at least the first 5 minutes of the film. This opening reminded me a lot of Tree of Life (http://bigbobbosreviews.blogspot.com/2011/07/tree-of-life.html) , but Melancholia turned out to have more of a concrete narrative.
The film was broken up into two parts. The first half following Justine (Kristen Dunst) at her wedding reception with her husband Michael (Alexander Skarsgard). This might have been one of the strangest wedding receptions I have have watched but it gave so much character development that was needed for the second half of the film. The second half turned the focus onto Justine’s sister, Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and her astronomer husband John (Kiefer Sutherland). John studies the planet Melancholia and seems very sure of himself that it will not pose a threat. It was very effective having the film split into two sections each focusing more closely on a certain sister because it gave us very different perspectives of each character.
Even with a narrative structure, there is a lot of room open for interpretation when the film concludes. I thought that there was very religious or spiritual subtext with Kristen Dunst’s character as the movie progressed.
Kristen Dunst gave her best performance to date. She is definitely past her Spiderman days and gave a moving performance. Lars von Trier uses a lot of close ups and Kristen Dunst always has the perfect expression on to convey what she is feeling. Charlotte Gainsbourg also gave a fantastic performance as the sister. She went from the sane one to the hysterical one trying to keep everything together and her son safe. Honestly, everyone gave a fantastic performance. It was nice to see Kiefer Sutherland not being Jack Bauer. Alex Skarsgard got to show his acting talents outside of True Blood and every other character in between had their own little characteristic that made the film special.
With spectacular visuals that will blow you away, this slow paced piece of art should really make you think. Besides a couple little plot holes, like why Kristen Dunst’s family have british accents when she doesn't, this film is great. Melancholia really moved me and you walk away from the film thinking that you need to enjoy life while it lasts or it’s not worth living at all. I hope it moves you like it as moved me and you take something away from it, whether it’s the same message I took or another.
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