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Melancholia, Movie

Melancholia 2011

Your Rating/Review

Enjoy it while it lasts.

Iconoclastic Danish director Lars von Trier follows up his controversial Antichrist with this sci-fi disaster drama, starring Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Kiefer Sutherland. More

A disaster film, of sorts, Melancholia tells the story of two sisters coming to terms with the imminent death of the planet as a large foreign body takes up a collision course. Justine (Dunst) becomes melancholic and calm when Earth is threatened, meanwhile Claire (Gainsbourg) fears for her life.

Von Trier considers his previous films to have happy endings, and promises ominously that this will be the first with an unhappy one.  Hide

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250 votes / 51 comments The Talk

  • 40 %

    Want to See it

    What say you?

    • mary

      Guaranteed to end up with noone in the audience knowing what the hell is happening.

    • Thomas

      Guaranteed to end up with mary not knowing what the hell is happening. Go watch an Adam Sandler film.

    • Atticus

      Waste of time

    • freshdude

      LARS VON TIERS !! for genuine cinephile only ! <3

    • kiwiright

      Just like LVT to make the end of the world look like the 2nd worst thing ever. Love it.

    • Ashton

      So whats the worst thing ever?

    • ralphy

      i smell oscar!?

    • Kit

      Another Lars Von Trier masterpiece

    • hill

      awful.. horrible.. wste of time.. awful... can't tell you enough how awfully boring this film is. just awful..

    • Elna

      Lars has lost it. This was a pile of self-indulgent, humourless dull poo. Great opening tho, as with Antichrist. He should do silent films

    • Honey Ryder

      I can't wait to see this at the Film Festival! Stellan AND Alexander Skarsgard in one movie!

    • Dubwah

      Waiting, waiting...

    • Rup

      Wow, what a blast. I was left literally shaking after the end. brilliance

    • eugenius

      Most powerful film I've seen in years ... brilliant.

    • diablo

      powerful brilliant stunning film - true cinema

    • Graeme

      Visually sumptuous, with layers of metaphor and symbolism, very moody and the images linger. 4.5 Star

    • Oliver

      Why the hell is the coming out so late?!

    • rebeka

      Where has this movie been for so long?

    • Michelle

      does not look exciting at all.

    • Rowan

      Looks incredible, I'd watch anything by von Trier, even if he is a Nazi (that's a joke, he's not a Nazi)

    • Zen Gung

      I'm so confused, but I'm so in.

    • Dorka


    • emma

      wtf? i don't get it

    • Superb

      Made me cry, take a tissue.

    • Ken

      There has to be something in that story

    • dianne

      incredible film - true cinema - lingers for ages afterwards, looking forward to seeing it again. film of the year

    • rose

      Saw it at the Film Fest - can't wait to see it again. Lars has outdone himself.

    • n.m

      had high expectations but it was really boring and i honestly didn't get it.. quit different from the trailer.

    • Dan

      It was really disappointing seeing people texting and Facebooking through this at the film festival! Brilliant film! Will see again.

    • JayK

      Cannot easily recall a more beautiful or lush opening sequence and the perfect Wagner score. Brilliant overall !!

    • NicTheChic

      Kirsten doesn't do it for me

    • mike

      total self indulgent garbage.Avoid at all costs.Tries to be mystical,quirky and epic but fails at all 3 dramatically.

    • tanya

      Boring drival.I want my 2.15 hours of wasted life back

    • Robbie

      Someone fell asleep just behind me...they we lucky,i had ti sit through it ...yawn

    • mary

      not sure if i like it or not...have seen many better movies

    • klaus

      oh dear i wasted a few hours of my life today i can never get back.Very disappointing movie,i expected more from Lars

    • lisa

      don't go folks,total garbage !

    • tina

      ah?is that it? what a farce

    • mike

      crap de de crap crap

    • Craig

      Stunning. Thought provoking. Top notch acting. What the big screen deserves.

    • Granty

      Fantastic, Best movie I've seen for a long while. Thought provoking. A sneak preview of death!

    • Mack

      Best film in ages - still talking about it, looking at the night sky, smiling at how the story unfolds... brilliant.

    • RWood

      Self-indulgent, boring, tedious drivel. And the cinema had the sound far too loud! Worst film experience for years!!

    • Olivia

      Worst movie ever.

    • Charles

      Best movie ever.

    • S & Q

      Not even a film you can love to hate. Tedious and hollow.

    • R-Jarden

      Some intrigue in tne execution but like hitting yourself on the head with a hammer

    • MCampkin

      Absolutely bizarre movie. spent the whole time waiting for something to happen, and it felt like it took FOREVER.

    • Rachel

      Have yet to be able to see it, but know I will love it from the haunting trailer

    • 123

      I love the trailer and think movie will be great.


    Want to see it?


Flicks.co.nz Review



  • Eileen

    Tedious. pretentious migraine inducing crap! Couldn't wait for the end of the world! Boring, boring,boring.

  • Jess

    You will either love or hate this flick and unfortunately, though it was visually stunning, I couldn't wait for it to end!

  • Mr G

    OMG, the worst movie of the decade. Flicks reviewer, please refund my money. The movie was boring, pointless, depressing. In short, garbage.

  • S & Q

    Tedious and hollow. Not even a film you can love to hate

comment / reply
Steve Newall Flicks Writer

The opening sequences of Melancholia show that Lars Von Trier has picked up right where Antichrist left off – thankfully just in a visual rather than literal sense as I don’t think the world’s exactly itching for a sequel. Super slow motion surrealism makes up the opening several minutes with another gorgeous assemblage of images that will no doubt form the unlikely basis for television commercial art direction, as its predecessor did. After this beautiful and foreboding foreshadowing, Melancholia moves on to the classy-as-all-hell wedding of Kirsten Dunst and Alexander Skarsgård (True Blood) and soon it becomes clear there may be a little more Antichrist lurking within than had first appeared. More

Melancholia is based on Von Trier’s personal experiences but, rather than the tumultuous aspects of grief and depression, this is more about how those that suffer from it are able to self-destruct amid an eerie aura of calm. That eeriness and calm comes to the fore in Melancholia’s second part (the wedding being the first), opening at the film’s deepest point of depression and introducing apocalyptic themes as a rogue planet, previously hidden behind the sun, threatens to collide with Earth.

Pitched as a beautiful movie about the end of the world, Melancholia succeeds. Dunst, in particular, excels in a performance that saw her collect Best Actress at Cannes, while the less that’s said of the Von Trier witch-hunt at that festival the better. Hide

The People's Reviews


1 rating and 1 review


comment / reply

extract from theaterofthecommonman.com

TheaterofCommon Flicks Superstar (?)

Lars von Trier's contradictory manner is strangely compelling; he has made some fine films over his long career. Not being what you would call a "commercial" film maker, the masses have unfortunately missed some of his crowning highlights. Though, with the digital age and the growing accessibility of the international film markets his works are now becoming available. On the flip side, his experimental techniques & subversive subject matters have turned many people off. Like with most with un-formulaic film makers, he often struggles to make his material relevant to general masses. His perverse nature is an obstacle for most. Having opened mainstream cinema's door to explicit sexuality with 1998's "The Idiots", it's not always easy to prepare yourself to watch one of his films. You just don't know what you're going to get. The shock and awe of his films are often accompanied by controversial press junkets, where his internal monologue is seemingly absent. Most recently, while promoting today's film, he claimed to be a "Nazi "and that he "sympathises with Hitler". Although he was using this untactful comparison to make a valid point, it shows the extreme ways in which his brain works.

His latest feature 'Melancholia' falls somewhere in-between the two extremes one can expect from Von Trier. Set in two parts, the film tells an apocalyptic tale told through the lives of two sisters. We learn almost immediately that the world will end at the end of the film. Once that cheerful news is out the way, we begin. Part one brings us to the wedding of Justine (Kristen Dunst). Justine is well into the tailspin of depression as she attempts to put on a mask of sanity for her Guests. The expensive reception paid for by her wealthy brother in law, John (Keifer Sutherland), is the backdrop for star filled guest list: Stellan Skarsgard (Good Will Hunting) , John Hurt (The Elephant Man) and Udo Keir (Dancer in the Dark), who all play into Justine's decline & a reception that is destined for failure. Part Two brings us forward in time and is positioned from the view of Justine's Sister, Claire. Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg), along with John offer to take care of Justine who by now is catatonic with depression. Simultaneously, we begin to experience the end of the earth, to be handed out by awesome power of 'Melancholia': a rouge planet.

Whilst Melancholia is sublime in its imagery, its depression riddled plot and tiresome dialogue overpowers what otherwise could have been a truly compelling film. I have spoken with numerous people about it over the past months, and they were all somewhat polarised. There is certainly a film maker's intellect at work here, which accounts for the vast difference in satisfaction between the general public and the film critics. The procession of critical comparison to Terrance Mallick's 'Tree of Life' was inevitable; to me however, Tree of Life was far more compelling due to its uncompromising experimental delivery. Melancholia, clearly attempting to challenge the formula, falls short opting to dumb down the innovation and steer the audience safely to its conclusion.


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Press Reviews

77% of critics recommend

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."

ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE. Read more reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.
A.V. Club (USA)

Though it lacks the titanic emotion of von Trier’s best films, Melancholia makes it up in stomach-churning dread as the planet inches ever closer to Earth. Full review.

Chicago Sun-Times (Roger Ebert)

Von Trier has never made a more realistic domestic drama. Full review.

Empire (UK)

Audacious, beautiful, tactful filmmaking. Full review.

Entertainment Weekly (USA)

A giant achievement. Full review.

Hollywood Reporter

This contemplation of the planet’s demise predictably provides not an ounce of comfort or redemption, nor does it offer characters or ideas with which to meaningfully engage, just ample opportunity to wallow in some rapturous images, glorious music and a foul mood. Full review.

Little White Lies (UK)

Melancholia is incredibly eerie, and is lent an exciting frisson by the authenticity of an actress and filmmaker with first-hand experiences of psychological trauma. Full review.

Total Film (UK)

Beginning and ending with a bang, but with too much whimpering in between, Melancholia is low-key Lars. Full review.

Variety (USA)

The gentlest depiction of annihilation one could imagine. Full review.