20 October 2011


Written & Directed by: Lars von Trier
Full credits at IMDb

Lars von Trier is depressed. He said as much while promoting his last film, Antichrist, and he has said as much in his latest, Melancholia, in which a big ball of doldrums takes the literalized form of a big blue planet from which the movie takes its title, which was hidden behind the sun but is now on a crash course for Earth. Get it? It's a metaphor—for depression's volatile nature, its unpredictable effects, its inescapability, its enormity, and the way it tears apart families because depressed people are so fucking difficult to deal with.

But the film is in two parts, with this epic allegory saved for last. First, von Trier looks at depression straight: Kirsten Dunst, in a role that won her an award at Cannes, plays Justine, who spends the first act celebrating—or not—her wedding to True Blood's Eric. It's Dogme-founder von Trier's turn at a Celebration, and he handles it with comic aplomb (Udo Keir nearly steals the movie as the wedding planner), crafting a haphazardly filmed farce that's jovial and funny until it isn't—like life for everyone else, Justine ruins her wedding.

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