Critic Consensus: Melancholia's dramatic tricks are more obvious than they should be, but this is otherwise a showcase for Kirsten Dunst's acting and for Lars von Trier's profound, visceral vision of depression and destruction.
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Critic Reviews for Melancholia
In Melancholia, von Trier has created a mission statement of a masterpiece, one that reminds us that nihilism itself can serve as a legitimate form of creation, a means as well as The End.
"Melancholia" is a hauntingly beautiful meditation on depression that is as likely to exasperate as many people as it moves.
Melancholia floats in an air of supernatural malaise and tension, a melancholy mirrored in everything and everyone.
It's a credit to the director's persistence of vision that he finds such eerie images to adorn this wispy tree of death. Like a newborn planet, "Melancholia" is magnetically beautiful, but it's also an unformed mass of hot air.
Audience Reviews for Melancholia
Lars von Trier continues to move through the realm of desolation after Antichrist with this profoundly sad film that shows how different people react in the face of depression and the impending doom. The cast is fantastic, especially Dunst and Gainsbourg, who are both exceptional.
A sprawling, if flawed, story concerning a woman (Kirsten Dunst) and her self-destruction at her own wedding, coupled with the seemingly imminent threat that a planet off in the distance, named Melancholia, will collide with earth in the near-future. There is a lot going on here despite the onslaught of depression, notably a lot of subtlety and careful reflection of one's life-span. In one sense, it is a frustrating film because it is so detached, but in another way, it keeps the ambiguity and curiosity at an all-time high. Some will find it boring and pretentious, and that's understandable, but I found it to be engrossing and a fascinating, character study on depression. As said, there are a few problems with it, but it is ambitious and thought-provoking, so for that, it gets a recommendation.
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