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Melancholia

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Denmark, Sweden, France

2011

Rated R • 2h 16m

Director Lars von Trier

Starring Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlotte Rampling

Genre Drama, Science Fiction

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Two sisters find their already strained relationship challenged as a mysterious new planet threatens to collide with Earth.

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WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING?

Melanie Greenberg Profile picture for Melanie Greenberg

A devastatingly slow build up towards apocalypse. The viewer is forced to imagine their own reaction to these circumstances without distraction.

Minh Bui Profile picture for Minh Bui

If I had to describe Melancholia with just one word, it would be "haunting". This science fiction film takes a brutally real and up-close look at the reality of depression and mental illness. And although at times Lars von Trier's symbolism and imagery make melancholy look beautiful, it still does not distract from the overwhelming pain and suffocation of this never-ending struggle.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

100

Variety by

For all the tyrannical disdain he's shown other filmmakers over the years, von Trier once again demonstrates a mastery of classical technique, extracting incredibly strong performances from his cast while serving up a sturdy blend of fly-on-the-wall naturalism and jaw-dropping visual effects.
50

Slant Magazine by Ed Gonzalez

The poetic, referential succession of near-still images that opens the film so immaculately distills Melancholia's moody narrative and themes that it makes the two-hours-plus that follow seem impossibly redundant.
90

Village Voice by J. Hoberman

Plenty of moments in Melancholia are painfully funny. Some moments are even painful to watch, but there was never a moment when I thought about the time or my next movie or did not care about the characters or had anything less than complete interest in what was happening on the screen.
100

Empire by Kim Newman

Von Trier is a burr under the hide for many viewers, and the unconverted won't be convinced. But it's audacious, beautiful, tactful filmmaking and perhaps the perfect match for "The Tree Of Life" on a bipolar double bill.
88

Philadelphia Inquirer by Steven Rea

Melancholia is a remarkable mood piece with visuals to die for (excuse the pun), and a performance from Dunst that runs the color spectrum of emotions.

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