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Melancholia: Lars von Trier's uplifting take on the end of the world

Kirsten Dunst in a scene from "Melancholia"


3 out of 4 stars


Directed by Lars von Trier (Denmark/Sweden/France/Germany)

Lars von Trier's Melancholia begins with a haunting prelude: a bride with a charred, tattered train; birds falling from the sky; a horse falling to the ground and a little planet pinging into a large blue sphere, like a sperm entering an ovum. Life is finished. Then the story begins. The first hour follows the utterly disastrous wedding reception of Justine (Kirsten Dunst), a debacle reminiscent of von Trier pal Thomas Vinterberg's caustic The Celebration. Part two sees Justine emerge from a catatonic depression to become a source of strength to her terrified sister (Charlotte Gainsbourg) while a luminous giant asteroid glides toward Earth. The drama is clunky, but the visual experience paradoxically uplifting.

Sept. 10, 6 p.m., Ryerson; Sept. 17, 2:45 p.m., Ryerson

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Film critic

Liam Lacey is a film critic for The Globe and Mail. More

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