[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/melcnholia_5966.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[-"[[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt Life is only on Earth. And not for long.]]"-] ]]


'''''Melancholia''''' is a 2011 SpeculativeFiction film written and directed by Creator/LarsVonTrier. It mainly focuses on the relationship between the [[SiblingYinYang two sisters Justine and Claire]], played by KirstenDunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg. The movie is divided into two parts, the first about Justine's wedding, the second about the upcoming fly-by of the rogue planet [[DoubleMeaningTitle Melancholia]] that's drifting through the solar system. The focus lies on how the characters relate to the events surrounding them, from the mundane event of a wedding to the possibility of a planetary collision.

Like Von Trier's [[{{Film/Antichrist}} previous movie]], '' Melancholia'' was surrounded by some consternation at the Cannes Film Festival. Von Trier's jokes about UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler and UsefulNotes/NaziGermany resulted in him being declared a ''[[DudeNotFunny persona non grata]]''. Dunst's performance was praised, however, and she walked away with the Best Actress Award.

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!!This film provides examples of:

* AbsentAliens: Justine claims that humanity is alone in the universe as part of her increasing depression. Of course she has no way of actually knowing this, insisting that she just "knows".
* AbusiveParents: Gaby has nothing nice to say about Justine. She does say that she expects Claire to be the more 'sensible' sister, but Gaby's attitude towards rituals such as weddings in general probably means she's also caused problems for Claire in the past.
* AlienSky: Once Melancholia appears in the sky, things turn eerie.
* AngstComa: By the second act, Justine is in one of these.
* ApocalypticMontage: [[spoiler:The movie opens with a [[Creator/RichardWagner dramatic]] montage depicting events leading up to the collision.]]
* ArtShift: The opening montage is shot in extreme slow motion, with extremely stylized imagery. The rest of the film is photographed normally.
* ArtisticLicenseAstronomy: Von Trier has mentioned he was never interested in depicting the astronomical events accurately.
** Melancholia couldn't have hidden behind the sun without being visible for very long.
** The film presents the only danger Melancholia poses to Earth is by direct collision. However, even a flyby could potentially be disastrous. It might "slingshot" the Earth out of orbit, and the tidal forces could also wreak havoc, depending on Melancholia's mass.
** Melancholia's trajectory first crossing Earth's orbit in a flyby, then receding, only to approach Earth again, while Earth's orbit doesn't change at all suggests that Melancholia actually experienced sufficient gravitational pull while passing Earth to knock the former out of its orbit. This would imply that Melancholia's mass is ''much'' smaller than the Earth's (i.e. even smaller than that of Earth's moon). However, in the opening montage we see that [[spoiler:Earth ''shatters'' at the impact, while Melancholia doesn't experience any sort of noteworthy deformation, which in turn would suggest that Melancholia is either massive, has a very dense crust or an atmosphere that's sufficiently dense that it could crush the Earth. Either possibility implies that Melancholia's mass is ''huge''. It also has sufficient mass to sap Earth's atmosphere even while flying by at a "safe" distance.]]
* BetterToDieThanBeKilled: Claire stashes away a bottle of pills should the worst come to pass. Her husband scoffs at her for this. [[spoiler:He ends up using them first.]]
* BigScrewedUpFamily: "Is everyone in your family stark raving mad?"
* BlessedWithSuck: Von Trier basically explores the idea how people with depression can function better than other under certain circumstances.
* BookEnds: [[spoiler: The opening montage shows Earth crashing into Melancholia. The movie ends with a view from the surface.]]
* TheCassandra: Justine.
* ColonyDrop: Of a sort. [[spoiler:Earth eventually smashes into the much larger Melancholia, which obliterates it and absorbs the debris.]]
* CosmicPlaything: As recognized by Justine.
* CounterEarth
* CrapsackWorld
-->'''Justine''': The Earth is evil. We don't need to grieve for her.
* ADateWithRosiePalms: {{Implied|Trope}} when Justine is bathing in Melancholia's light.
* DespairEventHorizon: Justine has hers during her wedding, where she completely breaks down. [[spoiler: Claire has hers when she realizes the Earth is doomed. [[BetterToDieThanBeKilled John as well.]]]]
* DirtyOldMan: Justine and Claire's father, played by John Hurt, shamelessly hits on two younger women for the entire wedding. His note implies that he ditched his daughter to go sleep with one of them.
* DisabilitySuperpower: The clinically depressed main character is apparently omniscient.
* DoomedProtagonist: Don't bother getting attached to anyone or rooting for them to make it. From the beginning, you know they'll be dead before the movie ends.
* DownerEnding: Trier himself taglined the film with "No more happy endings!" That's saying something!
* {{Deuteragonist}}: Either Claire or Justine.
* EarthShatteringKaboom
* EmotionlessGirl: Justine slowly falls apart during her wedding. In the bathtub she is almost catatonic.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin
* FanDisservice: Given what her character's going through and also the tone of the film, Kirsten Dunst's nude scenes are not supposed to be sexy. You have to give credit for Kirsten going further than she's ever been in her career, though.
* FoolishSiblingResponsibleSibling: Claire is the normal, straight-laced one, while Justine is a manic-depressive and often cannot take care of herself.
* ForegoneConclusion: Melancholia hits Earth. Von Trier deliberately showed this right away because he didn't want suspense to be the point of the audience's experience.
* FreudianExcuse: Justine may have inherited mental illness from her parents. Her mother is a bitter woman and her father is a lech who might be going senile.
* FromBadToWorse: In both parts of the movie: the wedding and the fly-by of Melancholia.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: The star Antares is no longer visible in the sky.
* HowWeGotHere: The ending is shown in the opening montage so that the audience won't be distracted by whether or not Melancholia will hit the Earth.
* ImportantHairCut / ExpositoryHairstyleChange: After the wedding, before going completely catatonic, Justine chops off her hair.
* {{Jerkass}}: John, though whether he has a [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Heart of Gold]] or a [[JerkWithAHeartOfJerk Heart of Jerk]] is tough to say. He gripes about money a lot and is pretty impatient with Justine and unsympathetic toward her illness. But he lets Claire take care of her and occasionally has a kind word to say. His intellect shields him from fear of Melancholia, and he does his best to keep his wife and child from being afraid, too... [[spoiler:but when that gets flipped around and he becomes certain that the rogue planet will indeed strike the Earth, he commits a supreme act of selfishness and cowardice by killing himself, leaving Claire to deal with that, their child, and their impending doom alone.]]
** Gaby. She's likely one of the reasons why Justine is depressed. See Abusive Parent.
** Justine's boss, Jack, who keeps pestering her to give him the tagline for the company, rather than feeling happy that one of his employees is getting married. He only came to the wedding to get that tagline.
** Justine herself, being aloof towards her new husband and cheating on him on their wedding night. Plus some of the things she says to her sister, including [[spoiler:mocking her plea of how to spend their final hour and making Claire do it her own way.]] She is, however, genuinely concerned about her little nephew and goes out of her way to alleviate his fears.
* KillEmAll
* LetThemDieHappy: [[spoiler: Justine offers one to her nephew when she suggests they'll be safe in a special shelter.]]
* LighterAndSofter: Only and ''only'' when compared to the [[{{Film/Antichrist}} preceding film]] in Lars von Trier's "Depression Trilogy".[[note]]At least this movie doesn't have self-eviscerating foxes in it...[[/note]]
* LikeYouWereDying: Justine has this effect on Claire and Leo.
* MeaningfulEcho: "I'm scared." [[spoiler: First said by Justine, when confiding in her mother about her marriage; then by Leo to Justine, as Melancholia re-approaches Earth.]]
** "Sometimes, I really hate you, Justine."
* MelancholyMoon: Melancholia is this TurnedUpToEleven, especially to Justine.
* MoralityPet: Justine's nephew to Justine.
* NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent: Everyone in the film uses their natural accent, so it's not clear where the film takes place. Claire and Justine are sisters with British parents, but Dunst as Justine uses her American accent. She works for a Swedish man who has a nephew with an American accent. The resort's butler is Danish and the wedding has a German planner. Claire is married to an American man and their child has an American accent, while Gainsbourg as Claire herself doesn't hide the fact that she's of mixed Anglo-French origin, speaking in a bit of a (hardly discernible) French accent every now and then.
* OhCrap: [[spoiler: Claire's realisation that Melancholia is coming back around after its fly-by.]]
* RightThroughHisPants
* RunawayBride: Not so much running away as falling apart at the seams.
* RunningGag: The wedding planner played by Udo Kier who shields Justine's face from his vision every time he passes by.
* SexForSolace: Justine with her boss's nephew.
* ShootTheShaggyDog: [[spoiler:Everybody dies and nobody resolves anything]].
* ShoutOut: The whole movie is basically a shout-out to ''When Worlds Collide'' set in the 2000s, only told from the perspective of ordinary people. There's a flyby, a HopeSpot, then the realization that the collision will happen after all and Earth (and they) are finished.
* SiblingYinYang: Basically the central focus of the movie. [[RuleOfSymbolism Further highlighted]] in that Justine is blonde and Claire has black hair.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Pretty much breaks the scale on the cynicism side. It doesn't really matter that the world is going to end and possibly all life in the universe will be extinguished; Life is so shitty and devoid of meaning that it's a good, perhaps even beautiful thing. Sort of justified, in that the whole scenario is a metaphor for depression, except that the director is pretty much romanticizing it with this film.
* StepfordSmiler: Justine at her wedding.
* TallDarkAndSnarky: Justine and Claire's mom. She thinks everything about the wedding (including the guests, her family, and the very tradition of weddings) is stupid, and when she sneaks off to take a bath in the middle of the reception (coincidentally [[NotSoDifferent at the same time as Justine]]) she notes that (paraphrased) "I wasn't there for her first execration, I wasn't there for her first intercourse, and I don't need to be here for this". At one point Claire quietly wonders why she even came.
* ThematicSeries: Part of the "Depression" Trilogy with ''Film/{{Antichrist}}'' and ''Film/{{Nymphomaniac}}''.
* ThousandYardStare: Justine.
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: Everything the movie has to offer is covered in the trailers.
* TwoActStructure: Both chapters differ in mood.
* UnableToCry: Justine only starts to cry when she's comforting her nephew.
* WeirdMoon: Melancholia, again.
* WorldLimitedToThePlot: Unusually for a disaster film; the film focuses solely on Justine, her family, and guests, and shows none of the outside world's reactions to Melancholia.
* WriteWhatYouKnow: Von Trier got the idea for the movie while being treated for depression. Kirsten Dunst had also suffered from depression prior to the movie.
* XMeetsY: It's DespairEventHorizon: ''TheMovie'' meets ''Film/DeepImpact''.
* YourDaysAreNumbered: The whole premise of the film.
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