Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland, Stellan Skarsgård, Alexander Skarsgård
Director: Lars von Trier
“Two sisters find their already strained relationship challenged as a mysterious new planet threatens to collide with Earth.” (IMDb)
»Currently streaming on Hulu«
What to Expect
When Worlds Collide
It’s the End of the World as We Know It, and I Feel Fine
Why You Should Watch It
Kirsten Dunst is sad. She is so sad that even on her wedding day she can’t maintain her happy charade more than an hour into the reception. The film is a portrait of her depression, hanging on the walls of a disaster movie. As a giant blue metaphor creeps ever closer to Earth, the story never strays from the handful of characters in their isolated home. We are never shown the hoards of people who have begun to worship the new planet Melancholia, the mass suicides from those too frightened to reconcile with its approach, or the looting and riots by those convinced it’s the end of the world. Von Trier spares us from the stereotypes and keeps the focus centralized and personal. Its a beautiful and different type of sci-fi movie that depicts how depression changes when under stress.
Rainy Day Flick (C)
I liked this movie, but couldn’t give it a great rating because of some issues I had; such as the overeager shaky cam technique, foreshadowing Melancholia impacting with Earth, slow plot, long opening sequence, and how Justine (Dunst) is the only one in her family without a British accent.
That being said, I enjoyed the powerful cinematography of the opening sequence, and the lack of incidental music for some scenes (when Claire [Gainsbourg] goes to measure Melancholia and finds it closer when it was supposed to be moving away, we are treated only to the horror of her silence). Having the birds sing as Melancholia rose was a nice touch as well, similar to the way animals will start to go to sleep during solar eclipses.
Justine is introduced as the depressive, and Claire her level-headed sister, but by the end of the film their roles have been reversed. A melancholic himself, von Trier depicts the characters in this way to reflect his own personality, which thrives in disastrous situations. While Claire has a family and wants to hold on to the life she loves, “Justine has nothing to lose. She’s a melancholiac, and we are ever longing, you know. And when you’re longing, you can’t lose anything. You have nothing.”