When considering the work of Lars von Trier, it’s best not to have expectations of any sort going in, as the rewards will be both engrossing and plentiful.
Melancholia is one of the more fantastical works of film to come out in the last decade. The eccentric director knew exactly what he wanted as an end result. He has a way of pulling performances from mainstream actors that others can’t. Kirsten Dunst, Kiefer Sutherland, Alexander Skarsgard, and von Trier’s muse Charlotte Gainsbourg all turn in top notch work that will haunt your very movie-loving soul.
Various familiar elements of assorted types are included into the running time of just under 136 minutes. An anguished bride, a tyrannical boss, the bitter divorced mother, a sentimental sister, and an unusually cross Sutherland don’t necessarily play nice together, but the benefit of the incredible tension displayed between the characters is a feast for the audience. The cleverness at which the subject matter is blended together so well with high art, cruel irony, and science fiction is an awesome sight. Movies akin to this one cannot be classified into one particular genre, nor should they be to begin with.
Fans of arthouse movies like this one can also be delighted to have a choice of how they experience Melancholia. It’s in limited release as of this past Friday, and is concurrently available On Demand through most national cable providers.
And that’s my giving a damn.