Three days left to catch ‘Melancholia’ in LA

Posted by · 6:49 am · July 26th, 2011

I should really have drawn attention to this earlier, but as Jeff Wells pointed out on Hollywood Elsewhere, Lars von Trier’s Cannes hit “Melancholia” began a one-week, once-a-day screening run at Los Angeles’ out-of-the-way Laemmle Fallbrook 7 theatre on Friday — a handy opportunity for local film buffs with free afternoons to sneak a look at the film months ahead of its November 11 release in the US. (Most European viewers haven’t quite so long to wait.)

As you can gather from my enthusiastic Cannes review of the film, it’s worth getting impatient for. One of von Trier’s most elegant and elegiac works — the silly controversy over his unwise Nazi-related comments at the festival is a red herring that doesn’t reflect remotely on the surprisingly subdued film — it showcases the man in full command of his formal powers, as well as a fascinating ensemble, the pleasures of which extend beyond Kirsten Dunst’s fairly rewarded performance.

This early-bird release has been arranged, presumably, with the awards season in mind — the requisite week-long qualifying run that enables distributor Magnolia to give the film a multi-platform release later in the year without damaging its Oscar eligibility. It’s honorable that they’re at least treating its awards chances as a theoretical possibility, where other indie outfits don’t bother with such precautions.

I don’t, however, see “Melancholia” making much headway with Academy types — while some pundits have been projecting a nomination for Dunst, the first American actress to take the Cannes award since eventual Oscar winner Holly Hunter, her fine joint-lead performance doesn’t appear to me to strike the emotional tone that usually impresses the acting branch. (Only one of von Trier’s leading ladies, then-newcomer Emily Watson, has ever caught the Academy’s eye, and that was for a far rangier turn in a film that was a major critics’ cause.)

Anyway, this is immaterial to the immediate matter at hand: the chance to get in early on one of the year’s best films. “Melancholia” screens until Thursday at 1.10pm — if you’re in the area, take a long lunch break, check it out and tell us what you think.

[Photo: Magnolia Pictures]

→ 12 Comments Tags: , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

12 responses so far

  • 1 7-26-2011 at 8:46 am

    Maxim said...

    I would hardly call the controversy over his comments silly and I think that cliaming so is wrong and irresponsible.

    No one makes comments of that nature in jest and to pretend that it they don’t mean anything or were just a ploy to get attention is to miss the bigger point about what he revelaed about himself in the process. Not to mention that there is nothing silly about how other people felt afterwards. Once again, I have to question if you, Guy, are able to look at the situation objectively.

    If it’s a reaction he wanted then no one should complain when that’s exactly does he gets.

    And if that happens to draw away attention from a movie, even if it’s a movie that you liked then so be it. The man has to take a responsibility for the context he provided for it.

  • 2 7-26-2011 at 9:47 am

    Parrill said...

    I heard about this Sunday and am basically planning to go if I get furloughed from work…if that doesn’t happen then it wasn’t meant to be.

  • 3 7-26-2011 at 2:42 pm

    julian said...


    My God, you really depress me. That kind (YOUR kind) of moralism, if carried to its logical conclusion, will kill all artistic or creative impulse, because it has to conform to standards of “political correctness” or being “right”, “truthful” or “totally reasonable” in everything you say or do.
    Lars Von Trier is a flawed person indeed (he would be the first to acknowledge that). But anyone who knows just a tiny bit about him knows that he is a humanist and a liberal BUT with the guts to confront the ambiguities of the human mind.

  • 4 7-26-2011 at 2:45 pm

    julian said...

    By the way, Melancholia is a truly beautiful (if somewhat flawed) film. I would recommend it to anybody with a keen interest in the art of film-making.

  • 5 7-26-2011 at 4:38 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    I went today. Didn’t get a thing out of it.

  • 6 7-26-2011 at 5:14 pm

    Dan said...

    Of course not.

  • 7 7-26-2011 at 5:50 pm

    Alberto said...

    The cast is good, I admit, but Melancholia is simply a bad film, and I generally admire Von Triers’ work, with the notable exception of such stupidities as The Idiots and Antichrist. In his attempt at transgression, he’s become too dogmatic without realising that his models (especially the Scandinavian literary symbolism) don’t translaye well visually (those talking animals in Antichist!). I was looking forward to seeing Melancholia and was very disappointed, and although she gives a truly good performance, there’s no way Kirsten Dunst will be nominated. T

  • 8 7-26-2011 at 6:06 pm

    Glenn said...

    Saw this movie last week at the local Melbourne International Film Festival. It’s a stunner. Dunst is fantastic and von Trier does such wonderful things with the themes of science fiction and mental illness. The opening and closing scenes are deeply effecting and memorable.

  • 9 7-27-2011 at 8:02 am

    julian said...

    The Idiots is a masterpiece of modern cinema in my view and the best thing to come out of the Dogme 95 movement (Festen runs it a close second)

  • 10 7-28-2011 at 11:04 pm

    Cinesnatch said...

    The West Hills … hmmn … that’s a trek. Especially on such short notice.


  • 11 7-29-2011 at 1:23 am

    Dooby said...

    This movie is just stunning. I second everything Glenn said about the film and I’d also like to add that I wouldn’t rule out Kirsten Dunst. My friends couldn’t stop talking about how impressed they were with her after the film.

  • 12 8-05-2014 at 4:38 pm

    Serkan said...

    Their was a part near the end when Kirsten dunst is depressed and she looekd like a zombie walking into the room and a Lady was putting her son to bed and she turned around at Kirsten dunst as she entered the room and she was like be happy!!! then Kirsten looekd at her then got more depressed then staired at her for a while then the lady try to leave the room but Kirsten´╗┐ dunst followed her all around the house in depress state of mind moving all slow and sh*t ha I died laughing lmao