Like most of Lars von Trier’s films, this surreal sci-fi drama divides the house, drawing scathing critique and towering praise in equal measure. But there’s no denying its haunting, redemptive power. The true mark of a film’s greatness is when it burns in the mind long after you see it, and Melancholia does exactly just that. This is bold, aesthetically impressive filmmaking of the high order with an astonishingly nuanced central performance by Dunst.
It seems like 2011 is going to be a strange but beautifully surreal year for cinema. First off, we have Terrence Malick pouncing back to the scene with his astronomical shards of wisdom in The Tree of Life, and boy, the trailer is just stunning. Now, we have Danish provocateur Lars von Trier, the enfant terrible of European cinema, fresh from his Antichrist brouhaha, giving us a first glimpse to his recent opus, the dramatically-titled Melancholia.