Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Set Adrift on Melancholic Bliss

Melancholia     WWW Score: 85%

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.