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Melancholia 2011

A beautiful movie about the end of the world.

Starring:
Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg
Runtime:
2 hours, 15 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Lars von Trier
Starring Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg
Supporting actors Alexander Skarsgård, Brady Corbet, Cameron Spurr, Charlotte Rampling, Jesper Christensen, John Hurt, Stellan Skarsgård, Udo Kier, Kiefer Sutherland, Angelique Alaïs Adell, James Cagnard, Deborah Fronko, Christian Geisnæs, Christian Kinell, Charlotta Miller, Katrine Sahlstrøm, Lovisa Håkansdotter Wallin, Gary Whitaker
Studio Curzon Artificial Eye
BBFC rating Suitable for 15 years and over
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Morris TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 Jan. 2012
Format: DVD
Melancholia is the story of two sisters; Justine (Kirsten Dunst) & Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg - Antichrist - also by Lars von Trier). The former is celebrating her wedding at Claire & her husband John's (Kiefer Sutherland) magnificent estate. It coincides with one of the biggest celestial events ever; a 'flyby' of a blue planet named "Melancholia" that has been 'hiding' in the blind spot behind the Sun and will now pass closely past earth in the coming days. But Justine, already struggling with depression, begins to feel suffocated by fear, has vivid dreams and a terminal case of foreboding, her warring family & sympathetic husband (Alexander Skarsgrd - Straw Dogs 2011) try to placate her but she is certain that Melancholia signals the end and has time to prepare herself whilst others panic.

Melancholia is a difficult film to call, the opening five minutes show the planets moving closer together to an epic orchestral score that pervades the rest of the film in theme and repetition. So we already know the fate of the planets before the film has played out. What is interesting is how Lars von Trier shows us the interactions of the protagonists and how they each deal with the impending doom; some clinging to false-hopes and other accepting their fate and insignificance in the entire scheme of things.

The direction is impeccable, credit to Lars von Trier here, although the incessant flitting through time sometimes makes the narrative difficult to follow.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I have followed Lars Von Trier for the last 40 years as one of my top favourite directors, ever since I saw one of his early shorts in the 70’s. Highly admired for being a director of immense creativity, originality and vision, Von Trier is also renowned for his daring in addressing challenging issues and taboo subjects through his prolific work. A filmmaker who never makes a movie which is similar in character to one that he has previously made, he is one of those few artists who have notably and significantly contributed to the expansion of the boundaries of cinema.

‘Melancholia’ is yet another great instance of Von Trier’s ceaseless passion in creating a new movie that surpasses what faithful fans might expect from him. However this time, it is actually quite personal in that the film takes on a subject the director himself is concerned with. Melancholia is a mental condition which appears now to be quite common, particularly amongst those who live in the industrialised parts of the world. Considered as a precursor to more debilitating mental illnesses such as clinical depression and bipolar disorder, the condition may be hereditary, although childhood trauma may also cause it in adults.

I was surprised to learn that Von Trier himself is suffering from clinical depression, form an interview with the director on this DVD. He is not the only famous person who suffers from this life wrecking illness or from its twin, bipolar disorder, but a number of other celebrities like Stephan Fry and Freddie Flintoff. As it is the case with almost all mental illnesses, these conditions are not fully understood by most ordinary people, making them react unfavourably or, in extreme cases, unsympathetically to the often bizarre behaviour of the sufferers.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Impossible? Well, this is what Lars Von Trier achieves in "Melancholia"; the dogged adherence to social tradition explored by Thomas Vinterberg's drama is successfully blended with Tarkovsky's bleak existential contemplation of annihilation.

The glue that binds is melancholia or loss of purpose. Justine's deteriorating condition is disfunctional only within the regularities of a human sphere. However, as everything is placed under an ever-increasing threat from the approach of a rogue planet, her disconnection from normal social and emotional concerns becomes a strength rather than a weakness and indeed the only rational response to such a disaster. Justine makes one final gesture of reconciliation; she constructs of a "Magic Cave" to reassure her nephew and calm her, by now, hysterical sister. In doing so, she makes up for all the previous pain: when all Earthly life is about to end there is no time left to qualify our relationships.

In her depression, Justine believes the Earth is evil; others would project their fears on to the planet named after the title of the film. In truth, these worlds simply exist, journeying through space until a chance encounter destroys them both ... Von Trier's beautiful film reminds us the event would hold no significance without the value we attach to our relationships, our consciousness of nature in general, and thus to life itself.
Comment 12 of 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
A beautiful film, I have just watched it for the third time and I am even more impressed and moved. It has so many levels I'm sure I will come back to it over and over. Great not to see the obligatory burning skyscrapers usually associated with such a subject.
I can't improve on other eloquent and educated recent reviews, but wanted to add my voice to the chorus of approval to encourage other members to give this masterpiece a try.
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