A digital, slow motion apocalypse: a dreamlike juxtaposition of beauty and death, as a menacing planet swallows earth whole, to the music from Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde
. This is the prelude to Lars von Trier’s Melancholia
, a movie in two chapters for two sisters, Justine (Kirsten Dunst) and Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg), who look nothing alike and have irritatingly different accents. Part one is Justine’s disaster of a wedding reception at her brother-in-law’s (Keifer Sutherland) estate. In part two, Justine’s depression is crippling (von Trier purportedly modeled her after himself) and the sisters’ relationship is tense as the world ends. The shaky-cam could rival that of The Blair Witch Project
at times, but while aesthetically captivating, Melancholia
doesn’t quite gel--- Gainsbourg’s performance is excellent and Dunst has a commendable pout, but von Trier slacks on character development and the dialogue is inconsistent.