Denmark 2011

director.gif (905 bytes)Lars Von Trier


Kirsten Dunst - Justine
Kiefer Sutherland - John
Charlotte Gainsbourg - Claire
Stellan Skarsgård - Jack
Alexander  Skarsgård - Michael
Charlotte Rampling - Gaby
John Hurt - Dexter
Udo Kier - Wedding planner


Cannes Film Festival - May 19, 2001
Denmark theatrical release - May 26, 2011
LA and NYC - November 11, 2011
And many film festival screenings



The film is a meditation on depression and the end of the world, stars Kirsten Dunst as an emotionally troubled newlywed named Justine, whose sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg) throws her a lavish wedding party. While her lack of emotional stability begins to take a toll on Justine's new marriage as well as the party -- and old wounds are exposed -- Claire's wealthy husband John (Kiefer Sutherland) also knows a great deal about a planet that is on a possible collision course with Earth, further muddying the waters. The second half of the movie focuses on Claire, who ends up taking her sister in after the marriage collapses, and also begins to fear that John is hiding apocalyptically bad news.

button_box.gif (205 bytes)PRODUCTION NOTES:

Filmed in Sweden at Trollhättan during the summer of 2010.

PRESS CONFERENCE - July 26, 2010



"Von Trier sure makes it gorgeous to look at: landscapes that suggest Old Master canvases, a candle-lit wedding reception, shrouds of mist, and Dunst stretched out nude on a riverbank, oddly ecstatic in the midnight glow of a planet come to destroy everything she knows."    ...Bob Mondello, NPR

"Melancholia is a ravishing, emotional and often very funny film about a wedding gone wrong, the end of the world and a woman suffering from profound depression."    ...Andrew O'Hehir, Salon magazine

"Though the film has its faults, 'Melancholia' is unlike anything we’ve seen before. The images of mother earth commencing to devour her daughters are disturbingly, gorgeously mind-boggling. As accompaniment, the over-the-top orchestrations of Richard Wagner’s overture to Tristan and Isolde (edited so that the music is cut dead on the beat for an extreme effect) are aural perfection. In short, von Trier has created a cinematic wonder that you just may want to view twice."    ...Kimberly Gadette, Doddle

"'Melancholia' is a real work of art, a film so powerful, so profound and so grandly entertaining that I am almost willing to forgive Von Trier for that 'Dogville' nonsense as a result."   ...Peter Sobcynski,

"There’s something about the solemn, gloomy, often overwhelmingly powerful experience of watching 'Melancholia'. I’ll give it this much: This is a hard movie to forget. For days after seeing it, I could call up the sense memory of its sickly green color palette and histrionic Wagner score."   ...Dana Stevens, Slate

"Like its titular emotional state, 'Melancholia' gets under your skin and sticks with you long after it’s over. It has a moody aftertaste that’s impossible to shake, and, given its contemplative vision, the director is obviously invested in what’s onscreen."   ...Radheyan Simonpillai, Now Toronto

"A masterwork of grandeur, millennial angst and high romantic style, 'Melancholia' takes themes that have marked the best films of 2011 and spins them into a blast of cosmic sparkle dust."   ...Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

"Danish provocateur Lars von Trier - long one of the most annoying filmmakers on the planet - turns out one of the year’s most emotionally resonant art movies. I never thought I’d write those last words, much less report that Kirsten Dunst, never a great actress in my humble opinion, gives one of 2011’s most affecting performances."   ...Lou Lumenick, NY Post

"This is a fearless film - a merciless and haunting view into a pit of despair. With 'Melancholia', von Trier pokes and prods at primal nerve, and as discomforting as the material might be, the complex characterizations and single-minded focus are also exhilarating. When it ends, in a deafening cacophony of terrestrial roars and a crescendo of strings, it truly ends."   ...Film critic Mark Dujsik

"The pictorially exquisite 'Melancholia', shot in English with a cast led by a pitch-perfect Kirsten Dunst, is a grand piece of cinema."   ...Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

"Von Trier has occasionally been accused of sadism, both personally, as in how he treats his mentor filmmaker Jørgen Leth in the exceptional documentary 'The Five Obstructions' and in how he treats his fictional creations in films like 'Breaking the Waves' and 'Dancer in the Dark.' Whether he is or isn't, the embodiment of that trait would have to be Stellan Skarsgård's wonderfully Machiavellian turn as Justine's boss... It is one of the most beautiful, visually stunning, emotionally affecting films I have ever seen and is truly a masterpiece. It's obviously not for everyone, and you're certainly not going to leave the theater kicking up your heels, but you might just look on the bight side and realize that this planet we live on is an amazing place and it worth tending to."  ...Mark Rabinowitz, CNN

"Von Trier turns his tale of planetary annihilation into a subtly suspenseful chamber play, a modern fable that will linger in your mind after the credits have rolled."   ...T'Cha Dunlevy, Montreal Gazette

"The filmmaker blends the grand romanticism of Wagnerian music with swooning dreamscape cinematography that magically melts sight and sound into one.  So please, please, for the love of movies, if you're taking advantage of the brave new universe of delivery methods, watch this stunner without pausing, on the biggest screen available, and with the best possible sound system. It's a giant achievement."   ...Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly