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6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 330 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 53 out of 330
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  1. Mar 18, 2012
    10
    Melancholia may very well be the greatest story about depression ever committed to film. It's profoundly moving, complex and well-performed. Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Kiefer Sutherland make for a very impressive cast, with Dunst delivering the performance of her career. Who'd have thought an intimate analysis of the effects of crippling depression would effectively mesh withMelancholia may very well be the greatest story about depression ever committed to film. It's profoundly moving, complex and well-performed. Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Kiefer Sutherland make for a very impressive cast, with Dunst delivering the performance of her career. Who'd have thought an intimate analysis of the effects of crippling depression would effectively mesh with a disaster movie? Ony such an unconventional director as Lars von Trier would even consider such a combination. A planet colliding with the Earth and humanity's ultimate doom makes for a great metaphor for crippling depression - feeling like the whole world is baring down on you, and that you're utterly isolated and helpless. It's a surprisingly effective thematic juxtaposition, that makes for an extremely intelligent and beautiful overall filmic experience. The film is equal parts epic and intimate, blockbuster and and arthouse, melodrama and realism. You have some great scenes if extreme contrast - the strikingly honest, observant scenes where Justine (Dunst) and her condition clash with the understanding and the patience of her wedding guests, and the utterly terrifying apocalyptic scenes of the film's finale where humanity faces its inevitable and utter destruction. The use of Wagner's layered, evocative music and the sparing but effective use of dazzling special effects also help to make the film utterly memorable. In the end, the tragedy of Melancholia is not its undeniably pessimistic ending, or the way in which it approaches its extremely dark subject matter, but the lack of recognition it will receive due to von Trier's Cannes outburst. Had he kept his thoughts to himself, the film would undoubtedly have been the runaway awards-winner of 2011. It should have been an instant classic, a film that will influence many generations to come, but what will be remembered is the director's misjudged and undeniably insensitive jokes about the Holocaust and Nazi affiliations. This is a real shame, because as a viewing experience, Melancholia will stay with you long after the film reaches its climax - it's an emotional, mesmerising, extremely well-written and utterly human experience. Expand
  2. Sep 2, 2012
    9
    This film is not going to be for everyone, but I loved it. From a crazy wedding party where hardly anything goes right, to the potential coming of the end of the world, it hooked and shook me like very few films have in recent years. It deals with the relationship of two sisters, played by Kirsten Dunst, in a career best performance, and Charlotte Gainsbourg who is also terrific. KieferThis film is not going to be for everyone, but I loved it. From a crazy wedding party where hardly anything goes right, to the potential coming of the end of the world, it hooked and shook me like very few films have in recent years. It deals with the relationship of two sisters, played by Kirsten Dunst, in a career best performance, and Charlotte Gainsbourg who is also terrific. Kiefer Sutherland is also very good as the husband of the latter. It's disturbing, beautiful, and emotionally resonant. It's not slow, but well paced. A Von Trier film will always be a bit polarizing. Personally I really disliked his previous film Antichrist, but I loved this. Expand
  3. Lyn
    Dec 26, 2011
    8
    The mood and imagery of this film have really stuck with me in the weeks since I saw it. I was a little disappointed in one of the plot twists, and also because I expected a somewhat more realistic treatment. (I guess I picture a real family interacting with other people and the media as the End of the World threatens, not having languid breakfasts on the patio.) Still, it was moving andThe mood and imagery of this film have really stuck with me in the weeks since I saw it. I was a little disappointed in one of the plot twists, and also because I expected a somewhat more realistic treatment. (I guess I picture a real family interacting with other people and the media as the End of the World threatens, not having languid breakfasts on the patio.) Still, it was moving and Dunst and Gainsbrough were great, even if they don't look like they could possible be related. Expand
  4. Mar 25, 2012
    9
    I'm reviewing this because I can't get it out of my head. There's something so haunting about an hour of "what is the point of this (even though it's kinda interesting)", to the next hour of overwhelmingly powerful unrelated intensity. I gotta see this again.
  5. Apr 1, 2012
    8
    Melancholia is not "movie for everybody," well it's Cannes movie. Lars Von Trier put depression and distraction on screen with amazing performance by Dunst and Gainsbourg. The first eight minutes was beautiful, entire movie was visually stunning.
  6. Dec 24, 2011
    8
    Wow, what can I say. Strange movie, but in a good way. The whole cast was excellent, even with some humor in the beginning although drowned in sadness, which turned out to be good in the end. Excellent shooting as well.
  7. Dec 31, 2011
    8
    Melancholia is a beautifully directed film of the depression of two sisters who are timorous of the planet Melancholia colliding the Earth; it was like watching a painting. This movie was art.
  8. Dec 22, 2011
    7
    Melancholia is something different and I can't always tell if that's a good thing or a bad thing. The movie is told in two parts and is a tale of two types of depression. We have Kirsten Dunst's character, Justine, who is depressed by every day life on earth and we have her sister Claire (played by Charlotte Gainsbourg) who is depressed by the thought of death. The leads give strongMelancholia is something different and I can't always tell if that's a good thing or a bad thing. The movie is told in two parts and is a tale of two types of depression. We have Kirsten Dunst's character, Justine, who is depressed by every day life on earth and we have her sister Claire (played by Charlotte Gainsbourg) who is depressed by the thought of death. The leads give strong performances and the film is supported by beautiful cinematography. Director Lars von Trier is good at creating an atmosphere of woe even in the midst of a wedding. However it is not a perfect movie. One little thing nagged at me throughout the film and that was the fact that Justine's entire family spoke with an English accent except for her. It's a small detail, I know, but it still distracted me throughout the movie. I also felt that the film fell short in providing much insight into Justine's depression. We knew she was depressed, but we never really saw the root of her depression and we never see an emotional journey or insight into her character. There isn't much depth to Claire's character either, but at least we know that she is depressed due to the possible end of the world. The movie can also be a little slow at times and I had to finish it in two sittings, but it still packs a fairly powerful punch and is worth the watch. Expand
  9. Mar 17, 2012
    6
    It's not supposed to be taken literally, it's all metaphor, the internal life of people, including the subconscious, sociological and collective unconscious reality. It's a portrayal of the whole human psyche, the characters are just symbolic aspects of human 'mindness' and don't even necessarily represent individual humans but various 'personas' within an individual. It is not scienceIt's not supposed to be taken literally, it's all metaphor, the internal life of people, including the subconscious, sociological and collective unconscious reality. It's a portrayal of the whole human psyche, the characters are just symbolic aspects of human 'mindness' and don't even necessarily represent individual humans but various 'personas' within an individual. It is not science fiction, it is a psycho-sociological symbolistic portrayal of melancholia in it's true form of 'mind'. In that sense it is also elitist (i.e contains real depth and insight) and will go over the heads of the vast majority (even those who enjoyed it), nevertheless I wouldn't go see this movie if you have no idea of what I'm taking about (or if your depressed). Expand
  10. Mar 18, 2012
    5
    Some of the most beautiful visuals I have ever seen, but what starts as an interesting idea falls to pieces about 20 minutes into the film - mostly thanks to the craziness of miss Dunst. I'm not sure it was her acting or her annoying character that turned me off, but either way, I think I only enjoyed the parts of this film where she died.
  11. Jan 16, 2012
    10
    This is the best film I saw all year, and I go to the movies a lot. The first hour of the film (the wedding reception) is uncomfortable and even irritating to sit through. This is purposeful by the filmmaker. He even uses the "ever moving camera" technique that I wish filmmakers would stop using once and for all. I should not have to take a motion sick pill before going to a movie. WeThis is the best film I saw all year, and I go to the movies a lot. The first hour of the film (the wedding reception) is uncomfortable and even irritating to sit through. This is purposeful by the filmmaker. He even uses the "ever moving camera" technique that I wish filmmakers would stop using once and for all. I should not have to take a motion sick pill before going to a movie. We find out in the second half of the film, however, when it turns into a Science Fiction movie, why Justine (Kirsten Dunst) had such erratic behavior at her reception. The second half of the film is simply mesmerizing. Atmospheric, beautiful, scary, suspense building. Great visuals throughout the film - you will think about what you saw long after the film ends. Dunst is great in this film, but Charlotte Gainsbourg who plays her sister is equally wonderful. This film may not be mainstream enough to win awards at Oscar time, but it's not to be missed. I could write more about this great film, but I don't want to give anything away. Expand
  12. Dec 30, 2011
    10
    To me, Melancholia was like having a perfect slow cooked meal in great company --- that one enjoys while having but later on remembers with an even more delicious memory. It is beautifully filmed, slow, simmering, thought-provoking (especially after it is over). I rated it as my 8th best film of 2011, but as time went by it climbed to # 4. It is hard to explain its beauty and depth. ITo me, Melancholia was like having a perfect slow cooked meal in great company --- that one enjoys while having but later on remembers with an even more delicious memory. It is beautifully filmed, slow, simmering, thought-provoking (especially after it is over). I rated it as my 8th best film of 2011, but as time went by it climbed to # 4. It is hard to explain its beauty and depth. I still think of it often and plan to see it again. Expand
  13. Nov 13, 2011
    6
    Rare movie did not understand the conecccion wedding with the rest frame of the movie, though was very good work, I felt I was seeing the tree of life 2 .... but the third part of the movie left me stunned, scared, wrapped in despair that he shared with Claire ... cheers for Dunst and Gainsbourg were fantastic, great.
  14. Nov 11, 2011
    9
    Beautifully depressing, killed me in every possible way. I was touched by its sadness. Two unbelievable performances, Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg were incredible.
  15. Nov 13, 2011
    10
    This is a mesmerizing, raw, beautiful, damaging look at life just before death and the way different people accept their fate. It's not just your usual what if. Its long, unnerving but consistently sooo cinematic. Brilliance abounds for those who actually have an understanding and appreciation for the ART of filmmaking and are able to let themselves fall in and feel the impact of theThis is a mesmerizing, raw, beautiful, damaging look at life just before death and the way different people accept their fate. It's not just your usual what if. Its long, unnerving but consistently sooo cinematic. Brilliance abounds for those who actually have an understanding and appreciation for the ART of filmmaking and are able to let themselves fall in and feel the impact of the emotionally charged performances of Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainesbourg, and briefly John Hurt and Charlotte Rampling. If you have a movie lover's soul you will know after seeing this movie because you wont be able to get it out of your head, its that effecting!!! Expand
  16. Jan 9, 2012
    9
    A truly beautiful concoction from the ever-unstable mind of von Trier. The first five or so minutesof the movie say it all. Shot in exceptional light and scenery, Richard Wagner's prelude to Tristan und Isolde plays as characters flee, things burn, and Justine (Kirsten Dunst) seems as calm as ever. Very slow, and very inspiring. Unfortunately, the movie doesn't speed up any faster, as weA truly beautiful concoction from the ever-unstable mind of von Trier. The first five or so minutesof the movie say it all. Shot in exceptional light and scenery, Richard Wagner's prelude to Tristan und Isolde plays as characters flee, things burn, and Justine (Kirsten Dunst) seems as calm as ever. Very slow, and very inspiring. Unfortunately, the movie doesn't speed up any faster, as we have to bear through the worst wedding reception you may ever witness, leading to Justine's scandalous behavior on the golf course, her unemployment, and her immediate divorce. As Melancholia, the death-bearing planet, approaches, so too does Justine and her sister Claire's (Charlotte Gainsbourg) personalities grow, and finally, in a frightening, emotion-evoking, but tear-lacking ending, everyone incinerates at the approach of Melancholia. This may seem depressing, but to be honest, Justine was probably more depressing than anything else in the movie. And I mean that in a good way. Dunst definitely deserves her award at the Cannes Film Festival. This is definitely a movie worth watching. Warning, though; there is nudity. Expand
  17. Nov 12, 2011
    10
    Weird Weird Weird. Wonderful Wonderful Wonderful. It all begins to make sense towards the end so all the questions and confusion of the beginning makes sense. If you are patient enough and curious enough you will be greatly rewarded. Make time for the movie. Understand that it will be great. You only get to see such a movie maybe only once a decade.
  18. Nov 13, 2011
    7
    Melancholia is a rightly titled spectacle that follows a family in the final days of human existence. Its a sweeping science fiction melodrama that I would probably find difficult to watch again, but remains a strong film due to its dense story telling and deep character studies. And deep those characters were; Gainsbourg and Sutherland played their complex roles with skill and precision.Melancholia is a rightly titled spectacle that follows a family in the final days of human existence. Its a sweeping science fiction melodrama that I would probably find difficult to watch again, but remains a strong film due to its dense story telling and deep character studies. And deep those characters were; Gainsbourg and Sutherland played their complex roles with skill and precision. And special applause to Kirsten Dunst who gives a powerhouse performance, it would be a shame if she does not receive some awards recognition this year, despite the atypical nature of the movie. This is simply a very good art-house film, that challenges its viewers. Expand
  19. Nov 11, 2011
    8
    This film will not suit every taste; however it is artfully done, haunting yet beautiful. Aptly named this film still remains with me. Kristen Dunst has never been better.
  20. Nov 12, 2011
    10
    An author writes what he knows. This definitely rings true for writer/director Lars von Trier, whose new film Melancholia deals with the personal issue of depression.
    While it is widely known that Von Trier has suffered from depression, Melancholia doesn't exploit the disturbing nature of the condition but rather presents us with a fascinating observation of how someone suffering from it
    An author writes what he knows. This definitely rings true for writer/director Lars von Trier, whose new film Melancholia deals with the personal issue of depression.
    While it is widely known that Von Trier has suffered from depression, Melancholia doesn't exploit the disturbing nature of the condition but rather presents us with a fascinating observation of how someone suffering from it faces the end of the world.
    The film opens with quite possibly the most beautiful and aesthetically pleasing sequence of the year. For the first seven minutes of the film, all that is shown are highly stylized images of characters juxtaposed with the cosmos moving in slow motion. These glorious shots are accompanied by the operatic music of the famous composer Richard Wagner. The montage ends with a shot of the collision of Earth and a massive planet. While the thought of the end of the world is terrifying, Von Trier is somehow able to render it beautiful.
    After we watch the annihilation of Earth, the film splits into two parts, the first part titled "Justine." Justine (Kirsten Dunst) is a beautiful bride en route to her wedding reception with her new husband, Michael (Alexander Skarsgård). The reception, to which they are wildly late, is being held in the castle owned by Justine's sister and her husband. The couple appears happy, yet Justine is far from it. It takes everything to force a smile.
    Justine has been struggling with depression for a long time, and she hoped finally getting married to Michael would alleviate her problems. How anyone could be depressed when tying the knot with Alexander Skarsgård will probably remain a mystery to the women of the world, but Dunst's effortless performance makes Justine a realistic and tangible character.
    Justine's slow downward spiral on her wedding night is painful to watch, but entirely absorbing. At the end of part one, she notices a planet in the horizon that doesn't seem to belong there.
    Part two of the movie is called "Claire," after Justine's sister, played by Charlotte Gainsbourg. It's revealed that what Justine saw on her wedding night is a massive rogue planet named "Melancholia." Claire fears that the planet is destined to collide with Earth, but her husband John (Kiefer Sutherland) assures her otherwise.
    As Claire struggles to deal with the possible end of the world, she must also care for Justine. Since her wedding night, Justine's depression has worsened to the point that she can barely eat, walk or talk.
    Through situational irony, the audience knows the fate of their world, yet it is still fascinating to watch these characters cope. In fact, Von Trier stated that he wanted to show the destruction of Earth at the start, so audiences would focus on the characters instead of their ultimate fate.
    With its stunning visuals, impressive acting and wonderful music, Melancholia is one of the best films of the year.
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  21. Dec 22, 2011
    10
    for 2 hours I really felt like the world was going to end. I have never been so fully enveloped by a movie before. Whatever this film may be, depressing, disturbing, emotional, beautiful, I'm glad that I watched it, and feel somehow changed by it.
  22. BKM
    Apr 9, 2012
    4
    I'll say this about Melancholia: it's not like anything else I've ever seen--which is not necessarily a good thing. The film's depiction of depression feels alarmingly real as does its vision of the end of the world as we know it. But the the annoyingly tepid pace and startling pretentiousness of it all make you want to bludgeon yourself to death. Strictly a film for Von Trier devotees.
  23. Nov 30, 2011
    9
    This movie is made for those who really enjoy watching a movie, is slow and heavy in many ways but shows you perfectly two different kinds of melancholia, really good photography work and great music, the story well is difficult to explain but all that i can say is that things happen when you don't expect to
  24. Nov 25, 2011
    9
    What a wonderfully bleak movie by Lars Von Trier. After his last feature Anti-Christ, which was underwhelming to say the least, he returns with a fighting punch with Melancholia, a "disaster" movie directed exactly how we expect a Lars Von Trier film to be - a beautifully rendered art film. The movie is written in two parts, part one titles "Justine" and the second titles "Claire". BothWhat a wonderfully bleak movie by Lars Von Trier. After his last feature Anti-Christ, which was underwhelming to say the least, he returns with a fighting punch with Melancholia, a "disaster" movie directed exactly how we expect a Lars Von Trier film to be - a beautifully rendered art film. The movie is written in two parts, part one titles "Justine" and the second titles "Claire". Both titles refer to the characters in the film, one played by Kirsten Dunst and the other Charlotte Gainsbourg. Both actresses are outstanding. A lot of praise has been given to Kirsten Dunst who won best actress at this years Cannes film festival, the role almost seems like a breakout role for the already well known actress, but it's Charlotte Gainsbourg who I believe gave the strongest performance, adding that extra heart and emotion to the film, and should also be strongly considered for award recognition this winter. The movie ties it's two parts perfectly, making a strong metaphor for unity. Two families brought together while two planets are about to collide. Melancholia is one the most depressing and beautiful films of the year. The ending will leave you gasping in shock and sadness and will remain engraved in your mind for days to come. Expand
  25. Dec 3, 2011
    8
    A portrayal of depression and sadness, which will stick with one for days. Performances are really strong (especially Kirsten Dunst and Charlote Gainsbourg), visual beautiful. While some might find it slow, when one is as depressed as Justine (Kirsten Dunst), time does not run.
  26. Jan 16, 2012
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Happy New Year Indeed

    It's the holiday season again, and with it comes the usual slate of talking-animal Christmas movies and lame rom-coms set on New Year's Eve. I feel it's my duty to counterbalance this overt cheerfulness with just a little bit of morbidity. So, to open 2012, I'm going with my favourite film of last year bar none: Lars von Trier's Melancholia, a film about a newlywed bride's severe depression and crumbling relationship with her caretaker sister. Sounds none too festive, right? It gets better. The story is set during the last days on Earth, before a foreign planet collides with ours and all life is obliterated forever. Yeah.

    Before anyone becomes too concerned with the end of the world, though, we are treated to Justine's (Kirsten Dunst) wedding, an extravagant affair paid for by her sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and Claire's husband John (Kiefer Sutherland). After everything that could go wrong does go wrong during the evening, Justine does not leave the party with her new husband (Alexander Skarsgard), but stays at Claire's castle where the reception took place. The next day, as John and son Leo (Cameron Spurr) become increasingly giddy at the chance for a firsthand glimpse of the planet expected to simply 'pass us by', Claire's anxiety peaks and Justine's depression consumes her.

    The film exists in two distinct parts: one covering the wedding night, and the other the aftermath. Surprisingly, Part One makes for such a well crafted, engaging story that the whole 'world is ending' angle almost seems like an unnecessary gimmick. It is an intriguing, intimate look into the mind-numbing array of family dynamics at play during what should be Justine's special night. Much of its brilliance must be credited to a tight script and, subsequently, the characterisation of the act's central figure. Rather than being lazily written as a 'woe-is-me' sad sack that finds no joy in the night's proceedings, Justine draws audience sympathy nice and early through her efforts to make the best of things despite the social disaster unravelling around her. One gets the impression that she does have a genuine love for some people, but the vexing truth is that, in spite of the seemingly significant ramifications of this night, things are about to get far more sinister. We know this because von Trier leaves the viewer in no doubt as to how this film will end. The opening act is an incredible collection of surreal scenes depicting the Earth's destruction, set to the chilling prelude to opera Tristan und Isolde. So when Claire's fears are temporarily relieved towards the end of the film, it feels devilishly cruel to lead on this fearful individual when the audience is already aware of what is still to come. Put simply, it could be said that Part One is the cinematic masterclass, with heavy emphasis being placed on all things that make a quality film (beautiful imagery, well-structured dialogue and purposeful character interaction) while Part Two is the thematically charged intellectual piece, where the audience is not spoon-fed, but rather challenged to find personal meaning in the events unfolding on screen.

    Certainly, by the time the second half comes around, the security blanket separating caged fiction from terrifying reality has well and truly been removed. In the morning after the wedding, the world has become a much darker place, in both a literal and metaphysical sense. Justine's condition has degraded from a person battling with flashes of doom, to one that has become sedate and eerily calm in her total submission to the illness. In contrast, Claire, who has lived a balanced, comfortable life up until this point according to universal standards (big house, married, young son, et al), and who therefore has so much more to live for, refuses to accept the inevitable. It is through this polarising pair of characters that Melancholia offers the foundation of many different interpretations regarding the film's true meaning. Personally, it appears to be not only an exposition of universal perception and understanding one's significance in the context of all things, but also an assertion of how human beings might act in times of inescapable disaster. It begs the question: 'How do you think you would react in this situation?' But perhaps more importantly: 'How would you like to react?' This notion is hammered home when, in the film's heart-pounding and visually spectacular closing moments, the seemingly soulless Justine still finds time for one last act of utterly selfless heroism, even in the face of certain death.

    *There's nothing I love more than a bit of feedback, good or bad. So drop me a line on jnatsis@iprimus.com.au and let me know what you thought of my review.*
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  27. Feb 27, 2012
    9
    As with all of Von Trier's work saying his films are an acquired taste is rather an understatement. However, I disagree with the public conception that his films are wholly pretentious and without meaning, because more often than not they are full of meaning. Having followed Trier's career vaguely with interest other recent years, his most interesting films to note have been the muddlingAs with all of Von Trier's work saying his films are an acquired taste is rather an understatement. However, I disagree with the public conception that his films are wholly pretentious and without meaning, because more often than not they are full of meaning. Having followed Trier's career vaguely with interest other recent years, his most interesting films to note have been the muddling Dancer In The Dark and the unsettling Anti-Christ. Neither film was awful, yet Von Trier persists- as he does here- to enforce upon the viewer a unpleasing pacing for all of his films. Melancholia is no different. It's build up in following the disaster of Dunst's wedding merely pads the films with material and not a lot of plot. However, this can be overlooked if we view what the feature actually is inherently: a character piece. Fans of Anti-Christ will be with mixed views about this feature, as it resonates in similar themes and motifs, but that is not to say that in viewing Anti-Christ, then the beauty of Melancholia will be damaged somehow. Ultimately, Gainsbourg and Dunst would have been worthy candidates for Oscar nominations, but still this is not mainstream circuit material. The cinematography is indisputably incredible, as is this features score, but what shines best with this feature, even with its mass of flaws (and there are many) is that what is being conveyed here- though the metaphor is rather heavy-handed- works incredibly well. As a piece of science-fiction drama comparisons can be made to The Fountain, but whilst that film spends much of its time jumping over three timelines, there is enough here in continuity and anguish to deliver an emotional impact that is just as meaningful. Between this and Drive, I would have to say Melancholia edges it slightly due to the formers over-simplistic, though beautifully told tale, whilst Melancholia yearns to be revisited, making it in my eyes the best film of the year. Expand
  28. May 19, 2012
    3
    It's... weird. Melancholia is not nearly as powerful as Lars von Trier's previous film, Antichrist. It will not feel like a punch in the stomach, it will feel like nothing. Lars von Trier seems to try too hard on Melancholia, and the result is a film that will please the eye - the scenery is beautiful, and the acting is fairly composed - but will leave no lasting legacy. Two days afterIt's... weird. Melancholia is not nearly as powerful as Lars von Trier's previous film, Antichrist. It will not feel like a punch in the stomach, it will feel like nothing. Lars von Trier seems to try too hard on Melancholia, and the result is a film that will please the eye - the scenery is beautiful, and the acting is fairly composed - but will leave no lasting legacy. Two days after watching Melancholia, you will wonder whether or not you had seen it. Kristen Dunst and Keifer Sutherland are the two highlights of the film, not because of their interpretations of shallowly-constructed characters, but because their on-screen feeling. They look wonderful. Melancholia does not. Expand
  29. Oct 8, 2012
    0
    This movie was so bad it made me register at metacritic.com to give my 2 cents. First of all the review by metacritic.com professionals led me to believe this was a great, not good, movie. Furthermore, the cast is amazing. With that said I began to watch the movie. I watch a lot of movies and couldn't believe how bad this was. I struggled through 2 hours and 15 minutes hoping I wouldThis movie was so bad it made me register at metacritic.com to give my 2 cents. First of all the review by metacritic.com professionals led me to believe this was a great, not good, movie. Furthermore, the cast is amazing. With that said I began to watch the movie. I watch a lot of movies and couldn't believe how bad this was. I struggled through 2 hours and 15 minutes hoping I would find a ray of something world noting of value about it. There was none. How the critics couldn't condemn this movie as worthless, let alone great, is beyond me. If you don't want to waist 2 hours and 15 minutes of your life don't bother watching this bomb! Expand
  30. Dec 3, 2011
    9
    While being an extremely slow and long film, Melancholia is an extremely effective film as well. The basic premise is that a planet is colliding with Earth, and the events preceding the collision are portrayed through the disturbed lives of two sisters, played by Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg. Both performances are nothing less than spectacular. They have a very controlled qualityWhile being an extremely slow and long film, Melancholia is an extremely effective film as well. The basic premise is that a planet is colliding with Earth, and the events preceding the collision are portrayed through the disturbed lives of two sisters, played by Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg. Both performances are nothing less than spectacular. They have a very controlled quality to themselves, very reminiscent of Nicole Kidman in "Rabbit Hole" or Annette Bening in "The Kids are All Right." The supporting cast is also rather good, especially the bitterness-filled mother of the two sisters, as is Gainsbourgh's husband, played by Keifer Sutherland. Visually, the film is stunningly beautiful, with interesting, beautiful cinematography. The score is perfectly appropriate to the apocalyptic doom-feel of the film. What is truly remarkable, though, is the way that von Trier lays out the idea of how the end of the world, or just death for that matter, can be truly beautiful and something to embrace and (ironically) "live to the fullest," if the time is right. The psychological switch that happens between the two sisters is interesting, but remains ultimately within their characters' inner psyche, without actually diverging too far from the first part of the film. Kirsten Dunst gives an excellent portrayal of depression and the realisation of imminent death, and its acceptance in a rather calm, rational manner. Charlotte Gainsbourg, on the other hand, shows the attempt to cover the inner restlessness, fear and hopelessness with the veneer of rationality, but ultimately failing. As the end of the world approaches, Dunst is the one that keeps her head high, looks straight death in the eye, while Gainsbourg fidgets around missing the ultimate beauty of her death, and in association, her own life. Expand
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 40
  2. Negative: 2 out of 40
  1. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Feb 17, 2012
    40
    This is not a feel-good movie. This is the frigid, hard-to-embrace cinematic opposite of a feel-good movie, in fact -- all wrapped in one long, dark metaphor for depression.
  2. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Dec 1, 2011
    75
    The experience of psychological depression has been described with a variety of metaphors. William Styron called it "darkness visible," and Winston Churchill euphemized his bouts as "the black dog." In typically grandiose fashion, though, Lars von Trier tops them all.
  3. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Dec 1, 2011
    90
    Melancholia is an intense, exhausting experience. That may not sound appealing, and for some, it won't be. But nor should it be off-putting. Proceed with caution, perhaps. But proceed nevertheless.