Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Melancholia

There was a time (shall we say 2003?) where I would have ranked Lars Von Trier as one of my favorite directors. I really liked Dancer in the Dark, both parts of The Kingdom, Dogville, and The Five Obstructions. Breaking the Waves was interesting enough (if not a bit tedious) and I really enjoyed pretending to understand Zentropa while watching it at Grafton Stovall.

But I hadn't even seen one of his films since Dogville. I don't even think most of them even came out in the U.S. And I didn't have much interest in seeing Antichrist. When the glowing reviews of this film came rolling in, I was quite excited to see it.

I can't say that I disliked this film per se but I was definitely disappointed after the positive reviews. I liked the concept. I liked both Kirsten Dunst's performance and her (ahem) dazzling beauty. In fact, all of the acting performances were great. Kiefer Sutherland's character was so absurdly funny at times.

But with any Von Trier movie, I sort of felt like maybe the whole thing was a joke. And with his other films, they were so unique that the whole thing worked for me. This one seemed like a collection of other films which I'm assuming was intentional but I just don't know what to make of it.

As far as awkward wedding movies go, The Celebration and Rachel Getting Married are better. As far as end of the world movies go, I prefer the late 90's Canadian film Last Night. Hell, even this year's other sci-fi film about the discovery of another world and how it affects us Earthlings, Another Earth, had more ideas in it than this one. Granted, this is better than that movie. But still, I wanted this one to be better.

The absurd behavior of many of the characters just seemed so unrealistic. The sisters were well-written but most of the other characters were incredibly cartoonish to me.

That isn't to say I didn't like it. It was quite good. And quite claustrophobic in a good way. I liked the soundtrack from Tristan and Isolde. I liked some of the more surreal painterly touches. I loved the ending. It just didn't all come together for me like I was hoping it would to be the masterpiece I was hoping for.

Directed by Lars Von Trier
2011
Brooklyn Heights Cinemas

2 comments:

Jim said...

Would have been much better if Alexander Skarsgard was naked.

Anonymous said...

f that nazi, movie looks horrible

hater larry