Saturday, July 7, 2012


Lars von Trier, 2011 (8.4*)
This is a rarity among films, a science fiction film that has little to do, really, with that aspect of the story. Instead, the fact that a hidden planet has emerged from behind the sun and is heading on a path toward earth really is little more than a metaphor for the characters psychogically complex stories.

Von Trier has created his most mesmerizing film to date, full of dreamy, surrealistic images more reminiscent of painters like Magritte, De Chirico, and Dali, than any film references (see film still at the bottom) – except perhaps early Antonioni. 

Kirsten Dunst won five acting awards for her gutsy portrayal of a newlywed bride mired in her own melancholia, and whose dysfunctional personality seems to deteriorate as the planet, named Melancholia, moves closer to earth. Charlotte Gainsbourg plays her long-suffering sister, who seems determined to take care of her sister in spite of the apparent hopelessness of the situation, as her personal demons seems to have no cause or origin.

Like most of von Trier’s films, this one is also slow to develop, and eerily like a Bergman film of introspection and inner turmoil, and may not hold the attention of the average viewer, but if you stick with this one you will be surprised and rewarded, I believe, especially in comparison to his other efforts. This is the type of film rated higher by critics (80 at Metacritics) vs fans (7.2 at IMDB), but those are often the more unique and unforgettable films, as critics see so many of the mundane variety that it takes something different to wake them up from mediocrity.

One of the many surrealistic and artistic images in Melancholia


Unknown July 29, 2012 at 5:46 AM  

I really enjoyed this review and want to watch Melancholia again after reading your post on it!

Really glad I am now following this blog, the layout is class!

Would love it if you fancied checking out my blog and perhaps following back? :)

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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