Monday, November 28, 2011

Says What It Does And Does What It Says

The infamous Lars von Trier delivers in Melancholia...

Melancholia is the first film by Lars von Trier I actually wanted to see and the only one I've ever been able to sit through.  Presented in two parts, the first begins with an opulent and disastrous wedding reception featuring Kirsten Dunst as the horridly dysfunctional bride, the second ends with the destruction of the earth when it collides with the titular rogue planet.  No, that's not a spoiler, unless you arrive late for the prologue.  Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg play sisters dealing with depression, fear, and anger one can easily credit to their upbringing when we are subjected to their estranged parents at the reception.  Gainsbourg is very interesting to watch but most of her work - other than the unwatchable Antichrist - has been in French cinema so this is the first performance of hers I've watched all the way to the credits.  Kiefer Sutherland is present but has little to do and...well, let's just say he's no Jack Bauer when it comes time for the end of the world.  Dunst plays a severely depressed woman who comes to terms with her impending fate with a firm resolve.  She's always been an interesting actress but she wades into this rather surreal material and demonstrates some serious depth in Melancholia.

Photo Credit: Christian Geisnaes