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melancholia
Click for full sized poster

Melancholia

Starring Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland, Alexander Skarsgard, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt, Stellan Skarsgaard, Udo Kier, Jesper Christensen, Brady Corbet
Written and Directed by Lars von Trier
website: http://www.melancholiathemovie.com/

IN SHORT: 135 minutes of my life I will never, ever get back. [Rated R for some graphic nudity,sexual content and language. 135 minutes]

If all the images in Melancholia were placed side by side, on the wall of an art gallery, the exposition would win critical raves for the composition and the physical beauty of the product.

That's no lie. It's an absolute compliment. The images are beautiful. The premise of the film is offered up in the full color glory of the opening minutes of Melancholia: The rogue planet of the film's title is so named, we guess, because the planet is depressed and suicidal. It has determined to zip around our solar system, avoiding contact with the inner planets to aim right for earth. Earth, as we have written, is dust in the first minute. So let us . . .

Flash back !! to the last days of mankind. Specifically to the estate of a very, very rich family who, given their impending demise, is blowing their all on the marriage of their suicidally depressed (or maybe just "melancholic") daughter Justine (Kirsten Dunst, click for wallpaper) to a clueless dude named Michael (Alexander Skarsgård). The estate, owned by sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and her husband John (Kiefer Sutherland) is large enough to contain its own 18-hole golf course and enough acreage to keep the horses in the stable running happily along. Or whatever it is horses do. This is a very rich family, folks. John is a scientist and, well, he is a scientist. He calmly states that science affirms that planet Melancholia will not destroy the earth and, his faith unflagging, John watches until the rogue planet does what it cannot possibly do. We're not going to tell you what happens because that would spoil the ending of Melancholia. We want you the experience every single mind numbing moment.

We'll pause here to advise those readers who like to waste their money on artful expositions of cinematic endeavors not to waste their time or their email allotments to tell us we're wrong. Start your own site. Sit through everything better and/or (god forbid) worse than Melancholia for the next fifteen years. Only then may you write to tell us we're wrong. We won't care. In fifteen years we'll be dead. The Mayans said so.

And you'll probably own a digital copy, in some future form, of the film called Melancholia. You'll get to watch Justine's wedding video. Have you ever watched a wedding video, readers? How about a wedding video where the bride would love to be anywhere but in her wedding dress and the wedding cameraman still manages to document every table and boring assemblage of persons at the event. Finally, an hour and a half in, something actually happens!

Twenty seconds of Kirsten Dunst naked isn't nearly enough to compensate for the a couple or so of thousand seconds of lost time in your life. We will say it again . . .

Have you ever watched a wedding video, people? The whole darn thing, start to finish. Every single second of an event which may have occasional meaning if watched again by the once bride, years down the line. Every single second to be watched by, say, a three year old girl child dreaming of her own wedding decades down the line. For everyone else, you may wish to fast forward to have a glimpse of what you looked like at a wedding years before. But you don't watch the entire wedding because weddings are boring. B. O. R. I. N. G.

And you sit through every single second of this tedious bit of moviemaking because the director has a Name and therefore, there must be a point to the exercise of creating a film called . . .

Oh. Yeah. Melancholy. Wishing you could just die and get it all done with. Mission accomplished.

But . . . There's . . . More . . . . . .!

A second part of Melancholia focusses on sister Claire and husband John. No, it's not an alternate reality version of the first story. The wedding happened. Michael went, well, away. Rich people can make that happen. Besides this part of the story focusses on the scientist who knows with scientific certainty that Melancholia is not going to destroy planet earth. What do you suppose a level headed scientist would do? Will his loving family stand behind him or will they do, say, something radical and un-family like. Remember, rich people can do things that ordinary people like you or I can do. Heck, Michael disappeared. John is just a brother-in-law or a son-in-law, depending. Nothing that can't be handled, especially if the world is about to end.

Which, of course, it's not. John said so. Science said so. And actions come with responsibilities and . . . no, there are no radioactive spiders in Melancholia. We're not going to tell you what happens to John. Or Claire. Or Justine. Or the lovely golf course they own.

We've warned you enough.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Melancholia, he would have paid . . .

$0

I cannot wait for the Sunday double page splash in the New York Times of raving lunacy from dozens of other critics who want to see their name in print, all driving the Oscar train which is now leaving the station and heading for a nominating ballot somewhere in America. For everyone else: You. Are. Wasting. One. Hundred. Thirty. Five. Minutes. Of. Your. Life. Seriously.

Eight. Thousand. One. Hundred. Seconds. Unless you bolt when the credits hit 'cause you really think it'sgoing to take a very long time for one big planet to smash earth to smithereens. Maybe. Maybe not.

amazon com link Click to buy films by Lars von Trier
Click to buy films starring Kirsten Dunst
Click to buy films starring Kiefer Sutherland
Click to buy films starring Stellan Skarsgaard

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.