'Melancholia' is a brilliant, not quite sci-fi flick

December 19, 2012 

Note the Battelle Film Club’s showing of Melancholia plays Saturday, December 22 and does not show on the club’s usual Friday night.

Melancholia has an interesting history. It was seen at competitive movie festivals like Cannes and got released in very few theaters. The few that saw it found it on View on Demand channels on their TVs.

Writer/director Lars Von Trier’s film has two plots. Rich, unhappy characters dot the landscape. An intense, dark, psychological drama revolves around the wedding of Kirsten Dunst’s Justine and her beau, Michael. Her relationship with her sister, brother-in-law and family is tense.

The second plot is the end of the world scenario. Melancholia is a planet that, until now, was hidden behind the sun. Something changed in its orbit, and Melancholia is on a collision course with Earth.

Will it pass by or will the two worlds collide and destroy all life?

Be patient. Von Trier’s (Dancer in the Dark) film takes some time to get going and some time to absorb. By the shattering climax, this not quite sci-fi and not quite psychological thriller became one of the best movies not to be seen in theaters in 2011.

Mr. Movie rating: 5 stars

Director: Lars Von Trier

Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland, Alexander Skarsgard, Stellen Skarsgard, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt

Rated R for nudity, language, mature themes. It plays Saturday, December 22 only at 8:00 p.m. at the Battelle Auditorium at 8:00 p.m.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.
2 stars to 1 star: Don’t bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.

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