Iffy for 17+
Emotionally brutal end-of-the-world drama.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this drama about the end of the world from controversial Danish director Lars von Trier is emotionally overwhelming and very depressing, with a strong sense of mortal terror. Most of the movie's conflicts consist of arguing and yelling, but the impending destruction of the entire world is very intense. The other big issue is sexuality, with the main character (played by Kirsten Dunst) appearing fully naked in more than one scene and having sex with a younger man (not her husband) on her wedding day. Language includes infrequent use of "f--k" and "s--t," and characters occasionally drink alcohol, mostly at a wedding.
- Families can talk about how the movie addresses the idea of the end of the world. How does the movie evoke terror and dread? How does it compare to other movies' take on the topic?
- What makes the main character so depressed? How does she deal with her problem? What are some other ways she could deal with it?
- Why does Justine use sex and nudity to deal with her depression?
The good stuff
Messages: In a very grim movie in which nothing matters and nothing can be done, family is shown to be an important source of comfort.
Role models: The main character is very depressed, somewhat destructive, and seemingly incapable of functioning in her everyday life, but when the end of the Earth is imminent, she's the one who stays the calmest and most logical, selflessly providing comfort to a young boy.
What to watch for
Violence: The movie is all about the impending destruction of the Earth; there's an overall sense of terror, and a young boy is involved. Characters also yell and argue a great deal.
Sex: The main character is seen fully naked in more than one scene. She passionately kisses her husband on their wedding day (almost foreplay). But at one point she also drags a younger man off to a golf course for some rough and unexpected (perhaps forced?) sex (they remain clothed, and she climbs on top of him).
Language: Language is infrequent, but occasional strong words include "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "damn," and "hell."
Consumerism: Not an issue
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Characters drink heavily at a wedding. One character drinks champagne while awaiting the end of the world.
Fan Reviews provided by
Melancholia review by Trueno
This movie was just weird overall. It was kind of worth seeing in a way, but many parts were boring and drawn out. It was also unrealistic as the situation in which another planet, out of our solar system, would ever hit us is absolutely 0%. This movie has two main parts. Part 2 is better than part 1, but they both are too slow and boring. Go see it just to say you did, but be prepared not to be amazed.
Strangely Beautiful by bittersweetness
Not your typical movie. But I think that's why I enjoyed it. The beginning has a lot to take in but as the movie goes on the story unravels. Even though it feels like things move along slowly it does give you time to take it in. Justine was such an unstable creature for what was suppose to be the happiest day of her life. And her sister Claire, which you thought was more put together-really wasn't. There were a number of beautiful scenes. I think we've all gone through moments in life that happened so fast but when it the moment -ran so slow. The reality is nobody ever really has it together. But the characters show their strengths for those in need of them.
"I'm not feelin' too good myself..." by Jake_Gittes
It's been more than a week since I saw a late-nite screening of Melancholia. During the prolog I thought about bouncing to "Like Crazy." I have a low tolerance for slow-mo. Now I can't get three images from the prolog out of my head. Maybe that's the point: in life, some of the most important moments are not valued until remembered.
Gotta say I liked the "Claire" section better than the "Justine" section because I could finally identitfy with a character. There's a brutality in Justine that's discomforting to watch...like a Lars von Trier movie. While the ultimate theme is true, the dramatization sometimes crosses the line; in other words, abusing an audience that's already decided it wants to be disabused of its illusions by buying tickets to "Melancholia" is like seeing a masochist get what he-she's after. Sometimes the audience evokes more sorrow than the performance could hope to.
I want my life back by themichaelshane
Seriously... waste of money and 2 hours i'll never have back. Ascetically it was beautiful but other than that the acting, plot, story, everything sucked. no climax. just long drawn out nothing.
I give Tiers credit for suspense and a clever story of doom. by Nacho Baggo
He is super at fueling suspense by giving the audience the ending in the first 2 minutes. We then march to the doom of coliding worlds at a pace that is forced onto us. Like an orbit we can't stop and knowing the ending. Clever.
It was an irritating march though. They used a hand camera to film the whole movie. Constant camera shake that is obviously intentional and so annoying. They also struggled with the focus to really make this film a challenge to enjoy and take in. This tactic was way overused. It should have been used sparingly to help with Kirsten's moods. And we are forced to sit through a bizarre wedding with the worst people.
It isn't worth the admission price. Rent it if you dare.
What was that? by bfugere
The first 10 minutes of the movie set the tone. I should have left but didn't want to waste the ticket money. Wait for HBO to see this. Too slow, shots held too long, unrealistic characters. Maybe it was just too deep for me.
don't waste your time by nealoy
this movie was awful. very slow and boring. didn't care about any of the characters. a very interesting premise ruined by an attempt to be overly dramatic and 'artsy'. People may tell you what a great and moving film this is, but they are just trying to appear sophisticated. It's also 2hrs 15 minutes, so be prepared.
My Take 11/18 by el_que_critica
Well, I am not sure entirely what to say about this movie. I can say that the concept is really cool but the implementation is different to say the least. The first 7 minutes of the movie deal with (in my opinion) absolutely nothing that could not have been taken out. After the first 7 minutes then it begins but for the most part the entire first half has nothing to do with what really is the principle of this movie. The second half is where meat and potatoes of the movie is at. Ultimately it is an interesting movie to watch so maybe a matinee but at least a rental if you want a completely different approach on the end of the world. Dont expect any insightful information as to an explanation.
ALL SCI-FI FANATICS MUST SEE THIS MOVIE! by misspammy
ALL SCI-FI FANATICS MUST SEE THIS MOVIE!
I'll admit it- the beginning of the movie can be a bit hard to sit through at parts. But, trust me when I say, the build-up was intentional and it just makes the second half of the movie that much more enjoyable and rewarding.
If you are into the science/physics side of end of the world, sci-fi movies- then you'll appreciate Melancholia. While watching the movie, my husband would make a remark about how something seemed implausible and 5 seconds later his objection would be addressed in the film. (e.g. the loss of atmosphere, erratic weather, electrical storms/power outages)
If you want to see an absolutely breathtaking film with dramatic interaction, science, space, and of course- the best impact scene I've ever seen- then Melancholia is for you!
Just remember- this film is all about patience-and if you can get through the 1st part of the movie (yes, there are 2 official parts) I promise it will pay off.
5 Stars! MUST SEE!
Beautiful yet Boring in all its Un-Glory by ska-triumph
This has got to be one of Von Trier's tamest, and frankly lamest, films in his oevure. It's hard enough to keep the mounting end-of-the-world tension high AFTER the film already wows you with the opening montage. It plateaus after that all the way through. Beautiful setting, shots, compositions, CGI, and cast -- but I believed the oncoming planet more than the sibling/family dysfunction. I don't need everything explained but I Ms. Dunst's JUSTINE didn't really communicate she already had premonitions before she revealed she had to speak them. That and the pacing made this thing a good 30-45 minutes too long.