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Drama, Sci-Fi

Two sisters find their already strained relationship challenged as a mysterious new planet threatens to collide into the Earth.

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The critical consensus

Beginning and ending with a bang, but with too much whimpering in between, Melancholia is low-key Lars. But committed turns and poetic visuals will ease you through to The End.

***(*)(*)Matt Glasby, Total Film, 14/09/2011

Kirsten Dunst gives a career best turn as the deeply troubled Justine, while, as in his last film Anti-Christ, Charlotte Gainsbourg is the key to guiding the viewer to the final reveal.

****(*)Paul Dale, The List, 21/09/2011

Von Trier is a burr under the hide for many viewers, and the unconverted won't be convinced. But it's audacious, beautiful, tactful filmmaking and perhaps the perfect match for The Tree Of Life on a bipolar double bill.

*****Kim Newman, Empire Online, 26/09/2011

Visually sumptuous and vaguely provocative, it's his least obnoxious film in years, and would be even more bearable without an unyielding score of classical music, which feels like being stuck with Your 100 Most Overfamiliar Tunes. It's what you'd hear if your massage therapist wanted to induce a stroke.

***(*)(*)Siobhan Synnot, The Scotsman, 27/09/2011

Melancholia steadily grows more transfixing as the shadow of impending extinction looms over its characters, building to a forceful climax that will lift you out of your seat.

****(*)Philip Concannon, The Skinny, 27/09/2011

You may like or hate Melancholia. It’s hard, though, to imagine being indifferent to it. The film seethes with ideas, darkness, bruising soulfulness, visual invention.

*****Sukhdev Sandhu, The Telegraph, 29/09/2011

There’s something powerful here, but Melancholia hasn’t quite managed to force it through the screen.

Jonathan Crocker, Little White Lies, 29/09/2011

Melancholia is an absurd film in many ways, and yet it would be obtuse not to acknowledge those lightning bolts of visual inspiration.

***(*)(*)Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, 29/09/2011

Distressing examination of depresssion.

Paul Greenwood, Evening Times, 29/09/2011

Melancholia beguiles with the beauty of its apocalyptic visions and the soaring Wagnerian soundtrack but the film is overlong, with dialogue that doesn’t ring true and characters that are often intensely annoying.

***(*)(*)Allan Hunter, Daily Express, 30/09/2011

Not since Solaris (1972) have science fiction and psychology been blended to such powerful effect.

****(*)Daily Record, 30/09/2011

Goofy and overblown, this is also von Trier's most sincere film to date: a serene meditation on life, family and his artistic method.

***(*)(*)Alistair Harkness, The Scotsman, 01/10/2011

Lars von Trier's would-be apocalyptic take on the end of the world is a narcissistic and humourless exercise.

Philip French, The Observer, 02/10/2011

I don't know if the world will quickly forgive him his Hitler quips, but for Melancholia, I'll even forgive him Antichrist.

Jonathan Romney, The Independent on Sunday, 01/10/2011

All in all, the film is long-winded, and Lars von Trier’s taste for the outrageous can be overbearing, but it is certainly a unique cinematic experience.

***(*)(*)Alexandre Johnston, The Journal, 20/10/2011

MelancholiaPhoto credit: Christian Geisn

Where and when?

General release. Check local listings for show times.

Edinburgh Filmhouse, Edinburgh from Friday December 2, 2011, until Wednesday December 7, 2011. More info:

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