Reason Writers at the Movies: Peter Suderman Reviews Lars von Trier's Melancholia


Associate Editor Peter Suderman reviews Lars von Trier's Melancholia in today's Washington Times

It's the end of the world as we know it, and Lars von Trier feels … well, depressed.

That's not an entirely unusual state for Mr. von Trier, the cinematic provocateur whose highly stylized indie film spectacles — including such acts of big-screen cruelty as "Antichrist" and "Dogville" — have plumbed the depths of human depravity.

His latest, "Melancholia," is a film about the spectacular destruction of the Earth — before the end of the first reel, a long-hidden planet sneaks out from behind the sun and blows the whole planet to bits. It's a disaster movie of sorts, like "2012" for the Euro-friendly art-house set.

The difference is that the destruction that has Mr. von Trier down is on a much smaller scale than any Hollywood blockbuster. With "Melancholia," he offers a gorgeous, self-serving lament about the general miserableness of everything — marriage, family, work, advertising, wealth, capitalism and human relationships in general. It's a movie only people who hate everything can love.

Whole thing here.