Friday, November 11, 2011
Who's ready for the latest feel-bad film from legendary and notorious Danish director Lars Von Trier? This one is told in two parts and preceded by a somewhat painfully long classical music scored montage giving you a flavor of what you're about to see and the pacing with which it will be told. Part one deals with the wedding reception of a melancholic Kirsten Dunst to Alexander Skarsgard. Part two focuses on an approaching planet to Earth, aptly named Melancholia. A great supporting cast includes Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland, Stellan Skarsgard, John Hurt, and Charlotte Rampling.
This is a tough movie to grade because some will love it and some will hate it. Some will leave the theater melancholic, some may leave euphoric, and many will stumble out with a deer-in-the-headlights WTF kind of look. And that's not atypical for reactions to Von Trier's work. I have a love-hate relationship with his films. I hated 'Antichrist' fairly strongly, considering it the quintessential 'torture porn' masquerading as art. But I loved 'Dogville' and 'Manderlay' which I believe to be totally original and innovative. And I first became a fan of his when I came across his Danish TV mini-series called 'The Kingdom', a 'Twin Peaks'-esque medical horror which was later adapted in the U.S. as the inferior short lived series 'Kingdom Hospital'. Regardless, love them or hate them, his films always inspire thought and conversation. Afterward you actually want to talk, debate, and perhaps complain to the people you went with about it. And how often does that happen? So for that reason alone this film deserves high marks. Just buyer beware. I personally don't think this one's as important as Von Trier would have us believe.