Finally got around to watching this as it finally made its way to premium cable. I saw it on Showtime, which means it was 'scoped in OAR, which was good, as it was a beautifully arresting flick. But it left me so darn melancholy I can barely move my fingers to type my impressions. What a debbie-downer of a movie.
Spoilers follow, so if you haven't seen it and want to, be forewarned.
Like others have said, the first act went on waaaay
too long. It was like the Energizer Bunny of movie acts - it just kept going, and going, and going....a full hour - half the running length of the film - before it finally, mercifully, petered out. Even the opening scene of the "Justine" act with the stretch limo trying to round the curve just kept going, and going, and going... Enough
already Lars! He's like the Tom Clancy of film directors.
I've never seen two sisters that looked less alike. Even their accents were different. I get that Justine was depressed. What I couldn't pin down was whether she was a manic depressive, or bi-polar, or just bummed because...you know...a planetoid was about to collide with the earth and wipe out all life as we know it. You'd think that would have been the premiere topic of discussion at that interminably long wedding reception, but no - nobody seemed concerned about it at all. Maybe they were all just happy because you could get french onion soup from the catering tent at 2 AM. That alone beats any reception I've ever been to.
So Justine's mom was a bitch and her dad was suffering from the initial stages of Alzheimers. That didn't give this supposed advertising genius license to cuckold her new husband on their wedding night with some kid she had never met before. I'm sorry, but that wiped out any sympathy I might have had for her character. Then, the next time we see her - some indeterminate period of time later - she's basically catatonic. But she snaps out of it and becomes her mother. And again I'm sorry, but Claire's plan to wait out the Big Boom on the terrace with a nice glass of Chianti is a sh!t idea but your plan to build a tepee out of sticks and wait it out on the third fairway is golden? WTF?
It was an interesting artistic choice to show the impending doom of mankind from the relative isolation of this vast estate with its own private golf course.
I so want to go to there! But there were too many questions that seemed like they deserved an answer. Like why that horse refused to cross that stupid bridge and why it pissed off Justine so much. It's a nit, I know, but Lars spent so much time on it that it seemed like it needed some kind of resolution.
The casting was fine - especially the Skarsgard boys (anybody know how to code for foreign language character doohickies in AVS?). Good to see Eric Northman and his pops in the same film at the same time. But I just never warmed to the Kiefster as "John". I kept wanting him to stuff a towel down that darn planetoid's throat and show it who's boss. And then he - who had heretofore been The Rock of the family - just wimps out and OD's next to the bridge-hating horse.
Oh, the melancholia!
But on the plus side - we all knew Kirsten Dunst has a rockin' bod since that wet t-shirt scene in 'Spiderman'. And she gave us the goods in an entirely gratuitous scene, of which I am eternally grateful. God bless her, and her agent. Now.... I need to find me some prozac and a shot of good bourbon. My melancholia runnith over.