Written by Sarah
The last time we saw Lars von Trier, he was scandalizing everyone with Antichrist in 2009. Now he’s back with Melancholia, a movie about the end of the world and Kirsten Dunst’s wedding. Kirsten Dunst’s wedding precipitates the end of the world? Not exactly, but there’s something about a secret planet maybe crushing the earth while Kirsten Dunst gets married. The universe really doesn’t want Kirsten Dunst to get married?
I’m just trying to make sense of it all, dammit!
Von Trier is one of those filmmakers I have to psyche myself up for. His movies are so depressing, and you know how I feel about depressing movies. But he’s so worth it—like Cronenberg and Malick, Von Trier consistently delivers beautiful, interesting, challenging films (literally, sometimes it’s a challenge to watch them). It’s hard not to sound pretentious when you talk about von Trier, but if you consider yourself a film buff you’ve got at least one of his movies on your Must Watch list (Dancer in the Dark—soul crushing).
Melancholia is being described as a “psychological disaster movie”, which means it’s either Armageddon for smart people or One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest with a wedding dress. Actually it’s about two sisters (Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg, who won the Best Actress prize at Cannes for Antichrist) whose relationship falls apart as the world is ending. Kiefer Sutherland, John Hurt, the Skarsgards Stellan and Alex, and Udo Kier also star. This is a highly anticipated film, already booked for Cannes next month, as von Trier is coming off the provoking and polarizing Antichrist. Melancholia doesn’t seem as out there as Antichrist was, which may be why everyone’s so excited for it: it’s a relatively accessible von Trier film. If that exists.
Mostly I’m interested to see how Kirsten Dunst does. She’s been putting her career back together recently and staging a quiet comeback. I’m not a huge fan of hers, but she looks solid in the trailer. This is the kind of movie she was always good at—moody and dark—and to distinguish yourself in a film by von Trier goes a long way to reminding everyone what they loved about you in the first place. Nothing seals the deal on a comeback like a triumph on the Croisette.
Attached – Dunst at the GLAAD Media Awards this weekend.
Photos from Nikki Nelson/WENN.com