Film Review by Philip Concannon | 27 Sep 2011
Film title: Melancholia
Director: Lars von Trier
Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland, John Hurt, Charlotte Rampling
Release date: 30 Sep
Certificate: 15

It's not much of a spoiler to say that Melancholia is a film about the end of the world. The movie opens with a gorgeous series of oblique images, culminating in the moment when a planet collides with Earth, but even if he hadn't given the game away, we all know Lars von Trier isn't the kind of director to let humanity off lightly. Before armageddon, we are invited to experience a film that's part droll comedy of manners and part wrenching psychodrama.

Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg create a gripping dynamic as sisters overcome by depression, while various scenes are stolen by a bitter Charlotte Rampling or Udo Kier's prissy wedding planner. Von Trier lets the first segment of his picture run a little long (a hunt for an advertising tagline is superfluous) but in its latter stages Melancholia steadily grows more transfixing as the shadow of impending extinction looms over its characters, building to a forceful climax that will lift you out of your seat.

Melancholia is release nationwide from 30 Sep by Artificial Eye