Melancholia

User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 409 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 92 out of 409

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User Reviews

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Dec 15, 2011
    4
    This is a very similar film to "The Tree of Life" in the sense that both of them could be part of a subgenre called "ambiguous art house dramas." But for me, there were some stark differences between the two films that led to "Tree of Life" being great, and "Melancholia" being art-house puke. The most important thing is that there is very little to latch onto in "Melancholia." The story isThis is a very similar film to "The Tree of Life" in the sense that both of them could be part of a subgenre called "ambiguous art house dramas." But for me, there were some stark differences between the two films that led to "Tree of Life" being great, and "Melancholia" being art-house puke. The most important thing is that there is very little to latch onto in "Melancholia." The story is told rather clumsily, the shaky-cam style takes away from the cinematographic beauty, and the characters are ruined by a script that seems more concerned with big ideas rather than compelling characters. At least with "Tree of Life," it had a compelling middle where character development was at the forefront, and the imagery was beautiful. Another aspect that bothered me was something many independent films are often guilty of which is taking unnecessary pauses. Characters often stare off into the distance, and there are so many pauses in the dialogue. People in real life do not do this, but in the art film world, apparently they do. Then there's the complete shift in the story. Melancholia recklessly jumps from depression drama to an end-of-the-world film. It's so abrupt you're left shaking your head as to why this shift happened in the first place. Then it becomes apparent when looking at Dunst's character shift, and you realize that "Melancholia" is simply a thin message movie about the nature of depression. Aside from a few gorgeous shots (the last shot especially), there's no reason to see "Melancholia." It makes you feel icky inside, and then it does something even worse, it makes you bored and wishing that the end of the world would just come already. Expand
  6. Dec 12, 2011
    4
    "Melancholia may be the most depressing film of the yearâ
  7. Nov 13, 2011
    4
    This review contains spoilers. First, the positive things. I thought Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg did wonderfully with their roles. This was a major departure particularly for Ms. Dundst, who truly threw herself into this movie and gave it her all.

    Before I go on, I'm looking at this movie against the framework of how believable the actions portrayed in this movie are compared to how normal folks would react to such severe trials. if someone is going to look at a movie like this, I think my concerns are valid. If you're going for a more allegoric view, my concerns will probably not ring true.

    Call me overly practical, but throughout the movie, I kept questioning the plausibility and realism of the actors actions. To start out with, we have Ms. Dunst's character at her wedding. In a matter of a few hours, she goes from total happiness to abject depression, wandering aimlessly around and throwing the marriage away. How realistic is it that a person would take this severe turn of mood in a course of a few hours? Why would the groom not notice things were going strange, and pull her aside and talk to her privately? Great artistic conceit, but I just thought it was strange.

    Later as the planet Melancholia came closer, the wife (Gainsbourg) was reading on the internet about the coming disaster, and her husband chided her about buying into something what experts said would not happen. Here we have her family and sister sitting on an information island, no TV or Radio news, no newspapers, the help doesn't say anything, these folks are behaving as if they're the only ones who notice this gigantic planet on the horizon. Again, stretches credulity to believe that they would or even could operate in total isolation like this.

    Then, as the disaster gets closer, their butler does not show up - "strange, he never misses work". We have a massive planet coming out of nowhere, no power, the help isn't coming to work (but we're still bathing - let's hear it for cold baths!), and nobody thinks to maybe go to town and see what's happening. Nope, let's just have lots of dark stares, discuss the earth is filled with evil people, etc. Now, before I get flamed by everyone for missing the key "deep messages" of this movie - the isolation of depression, acceptance of fate, how optimism breaks under severe tests of fate - I know that's what the director was aiming for. I just kept thinking to myself, if I saw a planet racing towards me, I'd be spending time with family and friends saying final good byes, reflecting on my life, and staying abreast of current news developments. Not seeing any of these activities, even in passing, undercut the movie for me.
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  8. Mar 10, 2012
    5
    Melancholia is not a strong enough word to describe this film. I would call it depressing. And while Kirsten Dunst delivers a very strong performance, the film is really slow and boring especially in the first part. Part 2 is much better with more context and allegories but moreso a platform for the viewer to connect to the characters. The final scene is the highlight of the film butMelancholia is not a strong enough word to describe this film. I would call it depressing. And while Kirsten Dunst delivers a very strong performance, the film is really slow and boring especially in the first part. Part 2 is much better with more context and allegories but moreso a platform for the viewer to connect to the characters. The final scene is the highlight of the film but the journey there is almost not worth the trouble. Expand
  9. Nov 16, 2011
    6
    This was a decent movie once you get past the first hour or so. Honestly the art house cinematography is self serving masturbatory drivel. The second half starts to provide more of a story and this is also when Kirsten Dunst's performance really starts to come alive. You need the first hour to set the stage but it would have been better if everyone was as engaged as they were in theThis was a decent movie once you get past the first hour or so. Honestly the art house cinematography is self serving masturbatory drivel. The second half starts to provide more of a story and this is also when Kirsten Dunst's performance really starts to come alive. You need the first hour to set the stage but it would have been better if everyone was as engaged as they were in the second half. Expand
  10. Dec 16, 2011
    5
    Lars von Trier has been accused of making vague but lofty pronouncements in his movies, and Iâ
  11. Feb 4, 2013
    4
    Another piece of film hysteria by Lars von Trier. It falls in the sub genre of art-house we could call Hermetic-German-Scandinavian-Drama. Characters with no depth at all whose actions lack of minimal motivation either dramatic or psychological. Situations are horrible and depressing for no other reason than the exclusive enjoyment of the director, who hysterically shines above the filmAnother piece of film hysteria by Lars von Trier. It falls in the sub genre of art-house we could call Hermetic-German-Scandinavian-Drama. Characters with no depth at all whose actions lack of minimal motivation either dramatic or psychological. Situations are horrible and depressing for no other reason than the exclusive enjoyment of the director, who hysterically shines above the film itself. And it has the most common error in pseudo-intellectual movies: there are two films squeezed into a feature. The first part (the wedding) is the film "Festen" (first film by Dogma movement) reheated. It´s simply awful. The second part of the film is what you expected to see but with the all the problems described above. Unfortunately, as we have good will to give him a chance the fact is that Lars von Trier is a quack. And like every charlatan he has a herd of followers. Expand
  12. Feb 11, 2013
    4
    I did'nt mind that it was dark, bordering on morose. After Dancer in the Dark, I expected that from Mr Von Trier. And I like dark films. What annoyed me was it was so banal. Please will someone tell me the thematic subtext buried in here? The best I can come up with: Depressed people will handle the possible end of the world with a more calm and dignified response. I watched on DVD, andI did'nt mind that it was dark, bordering on morose. After Dancer in the Dark, I expected that from Mr Von Trier. And I like dark films. What annoyed me was it was so banal. Please will someone tell me the thematic subtext buried in here? The best I can come up with: Depressed people will handle the possible end of the world with a more calm and dignified response. I watched on DVD, and required 2 sessions to complete the ordeal. It was however *quite* pretty visually, and Kirsten Dunst was good. Expand
  13. Apr 22, 2012
    6
    Melancholia will grab your attention via the beautiful opening sequence. It will have you asking questions yet marveling at the beauty of it.
    This remarkable opening sequence is a portrayal of what is to come and unfortunately for me the movie tries to be as beautiful as the opening prologue but fails to convince.
    There was just something missing for me - I didn't feel any connection to
    Melancholia will grab your attention via the beautiful opening sequence. It will have you asking questions yet marveling at the beauty of it.
    This remarkable opening sequence is a portrayal of what is to come and unfortunately for me the movie tries to be as beautiful as the opening prologue but fails to convince.
    There was just something missing for me - I didn't feel any connection to what is a very realistic subject matter (depression). Funnily this movie left me with a very clear mind without a depressing thought in sight. Visually it has it's moments! The actors give it their best shot and for me is the overall highlight of Lars' film. Sounds and music plays a serious role and is another standout. Meloncholia should be brilliant but it just isn't - it hits the target plenty of times, but fails to hit the bulls eye.
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  14. Mar 31, 2015
    4
    I really wanted to like this movie. I thought for sure I would and the naysayers were wrong. They were right. This movie was **** horrible. The first 10 min were nice pretty images, but that's all you really need to see. Don't bother with the rest. The next 10 min is a stretch limo trying to get around a rocky curve....really....pointless dumb movie. I like slow movies. I likeI really wanted to like this movie. I thought for sure I would and the naysayers were wrong. They were right. This movie was **** horrible. The first 10 min were nice pretty images, but that's all you really need to see. Don't bother with the rest. The next 10 min is a stretch limo trying to get around a rocky curve....really....pointless dumb movie. I like slow movies. I like some art house stuff (tree of life, Under the skin, 2001).,...but this was so dull. Only ONE character was remotely likeable and even her performance was hampered by the **** handheld parkinsons camerawork. IN almost every scene the actors seemed all to aware of the camera in their faces and uncomfortable, like an audition.

    Kirsten Dunst is overrated as an actress and sex symbol too. I kept wishing she would just die along with every other character in the film. So many things didn't really make sense. People acted in very unnatural and uncomfortable ways. It's a wonder anyone stayed around for the boring wedding reception the way the guests of honor and hosts behaved. Save yourself the trouble of seeing this. Watch the visuals of the planets colliding on youtube and be done with it.
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  15. Jul 16, 2013
    5
    Un tipo de pelicula extraña pero algo entendible el planeta Melancholia se acerca habiendose predicho desde el principio algo de depresion,alegria y angustio conforman la pelicula que la hace sobresalir sobre algunas, sin embargo se torna algo aburrida y monotona sin embargo el tema musical va con lo que es un fin del mundo y cosas extrañas que van con el
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.