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Movie Review: Melancholia

Alternate Title: When Worlds Collide

Story: How do you think you would behave if you knew the end of the world was near? (And I do not mean in a Mayan calendar sort of way). Like many other Lars Von Trier films - this one takes work, patience and introspection.

It seems that a rogue gas giant planet, called 'Melancholia' has been plowing through the solar system, missing both Mercury and Mars. It's next projected target is Earth. Scientists project that Earth will also be lucky and not be hit. But from the incredibly beautiful apocalyptic eight minute long opening montage we know this is not the case.

As most Lars Von Trier fans know, he is not your run of the mill writer, director. His nihilistic view of humanity continues throughout this film as it has throughout his body of work.

The film is divided into two chapters. Justine and Claire, sisters, dominate the film. Justine is bi-polar (but we only seem to get the depressive side of her mood swings). Claire leads a far more normal privileged life. Or is she normal? Both women get to act and react throughout. As in most Von Trier films - women are analyzed, pulled apart, punished and essentially suffer throughout the film.

Long story short, if you have the will, the patience and have seen other Von Trier films, you will appreciate this latest work. I guarantee that after you leave the theater you will be thinking about this film for days. There are long passages that make you wish the world would end sooner - but you are rewarded for hanging in until the end.

Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzD0U841LRM

Acting: Kirsten Dunst as Justine won the Palme d"Or as Best Actress. Do I agree? Probably not. Charlotte Gainsbourg as Claire, was her usual self-sacrificing self., Alexander Skarsgard as woebegone husband Michael, was bland compared to his portrayal in True Blood. Kiefer Sutherland as John could have been played by anyone. Stellan Skarsgard as Jack, was delightfully reprehensible. Charlotte Rampling as the sister's mother, Gaby, was weirdly funny.

Predilection: I tend to like Lars Von Trier films. I also like to see Palme d'Or winners.

Trivia: Lars von Trier helped form a collective known as Dogme 95 with a group of other filmmakers. The collective agreed to make films following certain rules, such as using only hand held cameras and shooting only on location.
He has directed three actresses to the Best Actress Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Bjork for Dancer in the Dark, Charlotte Gainsbourg for Antichrist and Kirsten Dunst for Melancholia.

Read my review of Dancer in the Dark here:http://www.judithwolfe.com/lobosmoviereviews/reviews/dancerinthedark.html
Read my review of Antichrist here: http://www.judithwolfe.com/lobosmoviereviews/reviews/antichrist.html
Read mt review of Dogville here:http://www.judithwolfe.com/lobosmoviereviews/reviews/dogville.html

Critters: The many critters in this film do not fare well.

Soundtrack: The end of the world beckons Wagner, right?

Visual Art: The film is visually stunning.

Drift Factor: I did not drift in the middle but I longed for it to fast forward.

Oscar Worthy: Probably not - but Palme d'Or worthy.

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen for sure.

Length: Two hours and 15 minutes.