Review: Melancholia

March 21, 2012, 8:49 am
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Kirsten Dunst has largely been in hiding since we last saw her as Mary Jane Watson in Spider Man 3, appearing in a grand total of three movies in the past four years - two of the three already in the bargain bin at your local Walmart. But it's the third of the bunch that's about to bring Ms. Dunst back to the limelight, the visually hypnotic Melancholia - get the Best Actress nomination ready.

Thanks to director Lars von Trier's bizarre Nazi rant over at Cannes, Melancholia has gotten tons of play in the press months ahead of its opening in the States. Von Trier's dizzying style of direction is immediately on display as we meet Dunst and Alexander Skarsgard arriving at their wedding reception - loaded with guests that would put a Spelling family reunion to shame. 

The movie is divided into two parts: 'Part 1' spent unveiling the dealings with Dunst's bi-polar personality. 'Part 2' is all about the planet "Melancholia" that's set to smash into our planet. As Dunst puts it: "life is only on Earth, and it's not for long". Keifer Sutherland tries to reassure everyone that the thing is going to miss Earth but his prediction mirrors his now plasticized face, just a slight bit off.

While it's undoubtedly bloated at 136 minutes, Melancholia is a beauty to behold - views of the impending doom are simply spectacular. The breakdowns in flow are offset by von Trier's breathtaking imagery which ultimately makes this art house flick worth a sit. An extraordinarily ambitious exercise in nihilism.

Grade: B

It was many moons ago in a darkened theater that my love of cinema took root as I snuck in to see my first R-rated film, Blade Runner. The futuristic vision that Ridley Scott unleashed on the screen was simply soul-expanding — spiritual even. From that moment, my mission to have that kind of magic strike again began in earnest. My hope is to be able to shine a light on films that may just have that kind of effect on you — films that may be lesser known, but not lesser in impact. 
- Erick Weber

Final Cut Scoring System
99-95% Opening night
94-90% Opening weekend
89-86% In theaters
85-83% On Demand
82-80% Netflix/Redbox
79-75% If desperate
74-70% If dozing off
69-65% If intoxicated
64-60% If comatose
Below 60% If brain dead

Erick's reviews
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