Cinematic Releases: Melancholia

Lars Von Trier paints a distinctly beautiful portrait with his latest work, Melancholia. After his self indulgent piece, AntiChrist, he returns with a film that captures some of the most breathtaking sequences produced in years. Melancholia maintains Von Trier's distinct visual style while capturing a family's inner turmoil and psychosis during a period in which the earth may be destroyed by the rogue planet, so aptly named Melancholia.

This is a benchmark film in which Kirsten Dunst finally proves herself as a worthy actress amongst a cast of accomplished actors. Dunst has grown exponentially in the last several years and could be an Oscar contender for her portrayal in this film. She not only captures the essence of her character's disorder but she inhabits the role in a way I've never seen her perform in the past. Her execution of this role paired with Kiefer Sutherland's dramatic efforts make Melancholia not just a success but an overwhelming achievement in modern film.

While some may be thrown by the slow moving pace of the film, one must understand that it's all part of the greater scheme. Von Trier has crafted a moody piece that engages and skillfully manipulates the viewer in to experiencing the despondent mental state of melancholy.

I had a hard time with AntiChrist as I felt it was egocentric and more concerned with shock value. Melancholia is the absolute opposite. It is a well rounded character study that happens to feature a tension filled doomsday subplot. I would strongly suggest seeing it.