Celebrated director Lars von Trier (Dancer in the Dark, Dogville, Anti-Christ) never fails at delivering trippy films that over-stimulate our eyes and brain. And his recent opus, Melancholia is no exception.
In recent memory, I can't remember another film that was so awe-inspiring within the first 6 minutes. von Trier blows us away with his collage of slo-mo visuals that are both beautiful and disturbing (I won't ruin the experience by attempting to describe it to you).
The film is told in two chapters -- the first focussing on the spoiled Justine (Dunst) and the second centering on her sensible sister Claire (hauntingly played by Charlotte Gainsbourg). In both chapters, the characters notice that a blue planet (named Melancholia) appears to be getting closer and closer to Earth. While everyone appears to be embarrassed by Justine's strange and ungrateful attitude, they are oblivious to the fact that humanity is at stake with the collision of both planets. Makes it seem that our self-important lives are meaningless in the long run.
Like von Trier's other films, Melancholia's storyline runs at a snail's pace. While there's nothing wrong with a filmmaker taking the time to tell their story, the pacing of von Triers' Melancholia is excruciatingly languid (compelling me to check my watch on numerous occasions).
Dunst and Sutherland give superb performances, but it's the incomparable Udo Kier who steals the show. von Trier's direction is impeccable and he will likely get the best director nom at the Academy Awards.
Melancholia is not a perfect film, but it's definitely one to behold on the big screen.