8:00 PM, 26th April, 2012
Emotive, artistic and unique - Melancholia is a beautiful film about the end of the world. Written and directed by the 'always controversial' Lars von Trier, this apocalyptic character drama made its way to mainstream movie theatres following its success at international film festivals. Kirsten Dunst received best actress for her role as the melancholic bride at the film's premiere (Cannes Film Festival), with the film later headlining the 2011 Canberra International Film Festival.
Although internationally acclaimed, it has, however, received mixed reviews amongst mainstream Australian viewers: its surreal atmosphere and unusual artistry, although mesmerising for some, is just a bit too strange for others.
In two parts, the film depicts the differing responses of sisters Justine (Dunst) and Clare (Gainsbourg) to impending doom and strained family relationships as a rogue planet threatens to destroy the earth. It also features a surprisingly emotive and insightful depiction of depressive illness said to be inspired by Lars von Trier's own experiences.
This is a film that benefits from the viewing experience of Coombs: with the world ending to Wagner's "Tristan and Isolde", the final scene is made all the more moving by a big screen and surround-sound.
My recommendation: See it. Love or hate it, this film will be a conversation piece.