Spring is in the air. The weather is warm, almost troublingly so. Flowers are blooming. Babies are everywhere. It's all a little much, isn't it? It's all so very pleasant. Lars von Trier's latest film, Melancholia, is just what you need to snap out of this sunshiney state of mind.
Released at the end of last year (despite much handwringing over some choice statements made by the director), Melancholia charts the fraught relationship of two sisters—newly married Justine (Kirsten Dunst) and Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg)—as they face the inevitable collision of Earth with the newly discovered planet Melancholia. As Melancholia nears earth, growing larger and larger in the sky, Justine and Claire are increasingly affectless and glum. Claire's husband has "studied planets" and is convinced that Melancholia is a flyby and not a threat in the least. But, c'mon! Who would not be freaked out of their gourd at the thought of Earth being wiped out? The acting is strong—Kirsten Dunst is a very convincing depressive—and you almost forget to wonder why the two sisters have completely different accents. There's a lot of waiting around—will Melancholia collide with Earth, or won't it?!—but if you're patient enough and able to appreciate what is visually a very gorgeous 135 minutes, the payoff is well worth the very dark place it leaves you in, emotionally. [Netflix - Image via MagPictures]