Directed by the controversial director Lars Von Trier,Melancholia has Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg playing the lead while Stellan Skarsgard,Alexander Skarsgard and Kiefer Sutherland plays the supporting roles in the apocalyptic film.The film opens with a shot of closeup of Dunst soulless face with some extraordinary slow motioned shots of people sinking into the sand ,birds falling from the sky and horses sinking to the ground.then we are brought to the event of Justine(Kirsten Dunst) wedding.Like all bride Justine is shy and happy on her wedding day but she cant help to notice the sky looking different on that day.
Then we see the reception of the wedding where you get some insights of Justine life as her parents starts to fight openly when they were giving their toasts.Justine seems to be affected by her parents and as the wedding goes on ,she gets more depressed and leave the wedding on two occasions.Her husband,Michael(Alexander Skarskard) tolerates with her throughout the wedding until to the point where he realised she is not that interested in the wedding or him as he is with her and calls off the wedding.
Part 2 focuses more on the relationship of the sisters and the fact that a planet named Melancholia is gonna hit the earth.It is here where you see Clare(Charlotte Gainsbourg)getting worried that this could be the end of the world while looking after her depressed sister.
Pluses:Kirsten Dunst gives the best performance in her career.She embodies Justine in all scenes.You can see the differences of the smile she had in the limo in the beginning of the movie and the fake smile she had throughout the wedding.She doesn't speaks a lot,as do the others character but she manages to express the weakness and melancholic in her eyes and facial expression.Although the reason for a depression never explicitly stated,we can assume that it is due to the divorce of her parents and her career.While sitting in the room of crowded people,she being alienated mentally realise that earth is gonna see it last days while the other feels Melancholia is not gonna hit earth.I loved the scenes where Kirsten confronts her boss and resigns her job, scenes where she realise her father had left the wedding and the scene where her husbands leaves her.I also enjoyed the scenes where Kirsten does nothing but just stares at the sky or giving a blank look to the camera.During the second part Dunst shines when she plays the calm one of the bunch and becomes the stronger one when it is stressful.Charlotte Gainsbourg as Claire is so convincing although both Dunst and Charlotte don't look like sisters.She remained calm during the wedding and becomes more worried during the second half.I loved the scene where she looked at Justine and say 'dont create a scene' and the all the scenes where she looks after her depressed sister whether help her sister to take a bath or help her to ready her horse.Both Alexander Skarsgard and Kiefer Sutherland gives a descent performance.The cinematography of the movie is immaculate.The first four minutes looks like a moving painting and the horse riding scene is beautiful.Even the scene where Justine decides to get unclothed and sleeps beside the pond and stare the sky looks like a painting.
Minuses: Although the performance of Kirsten Dunst is superb in the film ,I have some problem with the character Justine itself.The reason of her depression is never stated and I find it to be weird that she turn down twice her husband when he tries to kiss her and then have sexual encounter with Tim in the golf field ,the guy who have been following her around the night.The first half of the movie is dragging and it focuses mostly on the wedding.It would have been better if the would explore some of Justine's past the first half.
Possible Oscar nominations:
Best Actress -Kirsten Dunst
Best Cinematography- Manuel Alberto Claire