Melancholia ★★★★½

"It's really heavy to drag along."

Sorry to make this more of a personal journal/review hybrid, but I have a checkered history with this movie. This is a film that I've feared watching for quite a few years. I saw the opening when I was younger, about 16 when I was just dealing with the beginning of my anxiety/depression symptoms, and those few minutes stayed with me for days. I couldn't get the music or the images or the feeling it gave me out of my head. I've thought about it on and off since then (the music was a different edit on youtube then the final film, and the edit I found to be sadder). I still thought it was beautiful. But it certainly was a gut punch at the time, watching all these images of desperation, death, and finally the world being engulfed by Melancholia.

But I'm in a period of my life now where I'm realizing that my fears can and will be conquered in time, and my battle with depression doesn't have to rule what the direction of my life can go. So I figured I'd start with this. But where I was afraid that it would give me the same feeling all those years ago, I found myself oddly comforted. I felt less alone. Melancholia has a very knowledgeable and steady grasp on the emptiness and finality of depression. It doesn't say "you're just lazy" or "just try to think about something else". It knows what its like.

On a technical level, this is astounding. The tight close ups and mournful score add a deep empathetic touch to Justine, Claire and the rest of the characters. I don't need to go into the cinematography because I hear its always a knock out in Trier's films, but it really is glorious. And Justine leaving to take a bath during her own wedding reception...thats the ultimate mood.

Anyways, this is was nearly perfect. I'm glad I finally decided to watch it. It feels like something I can let go of now.

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