Melancholia (2011)



Critic Consensus: Melancholia's dramatic tricks are more obvious than they should be, but this is otherwise a showcase for Kirsten Dunst's acting and for Lars von Trier's profound, visceral vision of depression and destruction.

Movie Info

Justine (Kirsten Dunst) and Michael (Alexander Skarsgård) are celebrating their marriage at a sumptuous party in the home of her sister (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and brother-in-law (Kiefer Sutherland). Meanwhile, the planet, Melancholia, is heading towards Earth... Melancholia is a psychological disaster movie from director Lars von Trier. -- (C) Official Site

Rating: R (for some graphic nudity, sexual content and language)
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Mystery & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: Lars von Trier
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 13, 2012
Box Office: $3.0M
Magnolia Pictures - Official Site


as Dexter

as Wedding Planner

as Little Father

as Michael's Father

as Michael's Mother

as Girl with Guitar

as Wedding Photographer
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News & Interviews for Melancholia

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Critic Reviews for Melancholia

All Critics (186) | Top Critics (47)

Though far from Mr. von Trier's best, its power is still undeniable.

Full Review… | October 7, 2015
Critic's Notebook

This is the greatest movie ever made about depression, full stop.

Full Review… | May 3, 2015
Philadelphia Weekly

The journey von Trier has taken to this one immaculate moment has been bold to say the least, but at long last, he has revealed his full ability, and the result is his masterwork.

Full Review… | August 13, 2013

It's the little moments that annihilate us, every day, every normal day. Days that don't end, days when the end of the world is a comfort that the sick like Justine cannot afford.

Full Review… | June 22, 2013

A strong central performance from Kirsten Dunst, this is one of the best Lars von Trier films yet made.

Full Review… | March 21, 2013
Cinema Sight

Melancholia is not about the end of the world, but the end of a feeling: happiness.

Full Review… | February 19, 2013
Gordon and the Whale

Audience Reviews for Melancholia


A sprawling, if flawed, story concerning a woman (Kirsten Dunst) and her self-destruction at her own wedding, coupled with the seemingly imminent threat that a planet off in the distance, named Melancholia, will collide with earth in the near-future. There is a lot going on here despite the onslaught of depression, notably a lot of subtlety and careful reflection of one's life-span. In one sense, it is a frustrating film because it is so detached, but in another way, it keeps the ambiguity and curiosity at an all-time high. Some will find it boring and pretentious, and that's understandable, but I found it to be engrossing and a fascinating, character study on depression. As said, there are a few problems with it, but it is ambitious and thought-provoking, so for that, it gets a recommendation.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

The second instalment in Von Trier's Depression Trilogy is a real highpoint as the provocative director presents audiences with one of his true masterpieces. Kirsten Dunst pulls of her career defining performance as she flawlessly presents a central character who struggles with depression, which ultimately ruins the most important day in her life: the wedding day. To make matters worse, a planet called Melancholia heads towards the planet and doom is inevitably going to fall upon mankind.
Forget about any ideas of cities full of panicking people or over destructive natural hazards for which one person or family amazingly survives despite all odds. Here we focus on the emotional struggle Dunst has with her depression. Then there's Charlotte Gainsbourg, whose character attempts to both handle supporting her sister and the stress of knowing Earth will be destroyed.
'Melancholia' is a beautifully made film which left me both amazed and emotionally moved throughout every moment. Despite a few factors which may affect the attention of some viewers, they shouldn't get in the way with how much Von Trier does right.

Samuel Riley
Samuel Riley

Super Reviewer

I'm not sure what to really think about this. I suppose I give it a low rating because it failed to make a deep impression on me. It left me a bit confused about the message this was trying to portray (that we should take advantage of every moment we have left in our lives? that life is not important and that we shouldn't care?). Dunst is good as the depressed bride ruining her wedding (it is weird that her sister has a British accent). The problem with it is exactly in how some critics describe the film: "baffling but brilliant" and "as likely to exasperate as many people as it moves". I think I'm one of the few who found themselves on the negative end of the spectrum as I didn't find anything psychologically interesting about what this film was trying to say. I can understand that this is a film exploring depression and that the answers it gives won't be comforting, but I just found the slow pace and artsy scenes too bland and aggravating. Or maybe I just didn't like von Trier's vision this time around (me being quite a fan of his).

Wildaly M

Super Reviewer

Melancholia Quotes

– Submitted by Diane H (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Samuel C (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Dov D (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Dov D (2 years ago)

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