Leave the cannoli, take the movies

Review Blog


Posted by Jonathan Leithold-Patt on December 4, 2011 at 6:15 PM


Lars von Trier


IDEA:  As a rogue planet threatens the existence of earth and everything on it, the relationship between two sisters and their family grows increasingly contentious.

BLURB:  Somewhat atypically, Trier’s newest film doesn’t assault its female lead with perverse burdens, nor is it afflicted with his usual sadistic tendencies. And while still powered by a heavy, unyielding sadness, there is something ravishing and soulful about this portrait of depression and doom, something that feels keyed into genuine emotional experience. Indeed, from the very first mesmeric, ultra-slow motion frames, a current runs through Melancholia that is energized with a piercing honesty – this is what absolute despair feels like, and this is how it warps, or maybe even opens, one's mindset. Nothing here really attempts to typify science or reality in an accurate fashion, and in this case that doesn’t seem improper: for such a dauntless, romantically tragic expression of deep-seated psychosis, the thought of a planet ten times the size of earth coming to swallow us up feels, ahem, melancholically befitting.

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