I was certain after I saw The Tree of Life over the summer nothing was going to top that cinematically in 2011. Who’s going to beat Terrence Malick? Cronenberg? Jason Reitman? Please. Respect.
And then Lars von Trier stood up and, without even knowing it, took a huge Scandinavian dump on it in the form of Melancholia.
Could there be a better film about depression? About its weaknesses and – admittedly somewhat depressing – advantages? I can’t think of one. First, it takes Kirsten Dunst’s character, and in an almost abstractly compressed wedding reception, shows how a depressed person can, within hours, find themselves completely disconnected from the happiest moments of their lives – even while they’re living them. In the film’s second section – there are no acts here, really – the movie simply observes how Dunst’s character and her family react as the Earth’s inevitable end approaches. Is she more at peace than the typically happier people around her because tragedy and its emotional shock are no stranger to her? Or is she emotionally dead? I suspect it’s the former. Continue reading ‘The 10 best movies of 2011′