in about 100 words or less
Denmark, Italy, Germany, Sweden, France 130m, Colour
Director: Lars von Trier; Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland, Alexander Skarsgård, Cameron Spurr, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt, Jesper Christensen, Stellan Skarsgård, Brady Corbet, Udo Kier
The impact of a fictional planet on the lives of two sisters is an unusually beautiful and deliberately paced science-fiction based drama which immediately sheds any pretext of a happy ending. In their acceptance of the arrival of the planet Melancholia, and the Earth’s inevitable destruction, the film’s characters become increasingly detached at a family wedding reception where their actions will have only the briefest of consequences. In exploring the response of a doomed humanity, reminiscent of Kramer’s adaptation of On the Beach (1959), but without any attempt to find salvation, Lars von Trier’s Melancholia is a powerful and lonely cinematic experience, and ultimately a metaphor for depression (Klaus Ming April 2011).