Melancholia is not for everyone. It is at times painstakingly art-house, unpleasant, and frustrating, but all the while beautiful, mesmerizing, and bewitchingly intense. I imagine that there will be a certain crowd who will turn away from the film – at least question their choice for the evening – within its first five minutes, a montage of the end of the world. This is not the world’s end as we’ve seen it elsewhere in film; no crumbling skyscrapers or rip-roaring crevasses split the movie screen here. No, in Lars von Trier’s vision, the world’s end is a work of art in extreme slow-motion. These opening moments feature some of the film’s most memorable imagery: lightning emits from finger tips, a mother trudges across a golf course clutching her child, and planets collide.
Still, for many, Melancholia’s 130 minutes will feel as though it were all in slow motion. Know what you’re getting into. Continue reading