Melancholia review

Lars von Trier fast-bowls a brand-spanking new planet towards Earth, sending Kirsten Dunst a tad loony.

Following a breathtaking introduction of slow-motion dreamlike imagery of impending doom, Melancholia is split into two distinct parts, both light on action, striking a more contemplative, psychological (or psychologically disturbed) mood that, while a little convoluted, is worth sticking with.

Even after the crazed intro, it remains extremely visually appealing, based in a grand country house with acute attention to detail in its design and complemented by immersive hand-held camera and a sprinkling of special effects. But while the look and feel of the film is ticket-price-worthy in itself there is one more factor worthy of special note:

Kirsten Dunst is an actress frequently underestimated but consistently reliable. Here, playing a very complex, mysteriously disturbed individual with commendable breasts, she pushes herself further than before with a career-best, superb performance, clearly very much at home with von Trier’s improvisational approach to directing. A case of the stars, or maybe planets, aligning.

4 out of 5

6th Oct 2011 | Official site | On IMDb