It’s All About the Dress: Clothesonfilm’s Take on Kirsten Dunst’s Character in MELANCHOLIA

Self loves clothesonfilm’s review of Lars von Trier’s new movie, “Melancholia.”  It’s one of his best (The other one she really likes is his review of Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds,” because of the mileage he gets out of the description of a creaking leather coat).  She’s read the “Melancholia” review at least twice.  Below is an excerpt.  Prior to this passage, clothesonfilm has referred to Dunst’s “spectacular ruche wedding dress” as a “corset prison” which Dunst’s character feels compelled to tear, soil, and eventually pollute “with shame” (Self shudders to think what that could possibly mean, but since she has an ancient, farting beagle who has almost zero control of her bodily functions, the only image self can bring to mind is —  CRAP)

. . .  when Justine is released from the dress later that evening, she immediately asks her bewildered husband, Michael (Alexander Skarsgaard), to strap her back in.  Her psychosis actually enjoys the dress’ suffocating constrictiveness; it gives her justification to rebel, which she then proceeds to do in the most divisive way imaginable.

WHOA!  Dunst’s character needs to be constricted, so that she can rebel:  Is that brilliant character analysis or what ???

So, what lies in store for our dear Justine?  Read on:

What is easy to overlook in analysis of Justine is that she absolutely cannot help herself.  Depression is not a choice, it is a compulsion; a deep, gut-dwelling pain that refuses to abate.  For Justine the best she can hope for is a reprieve.

Which leads self to ask:  What, then, is in store for the people who surround this wrecked personality?  Do they, too, get sucked into the vortex?  Or do they manage to escape?  Or what?

Self is not sure she can actually endure a Lars von Trier movie, so close to the holidays!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.


  1. Chelsea said,

    November 5, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    I just saw Melancholia today after being compared to Justine’s character – much to my bittersweet chagrin. In one way, she is exceptional and unique… but in another – she is overpowering and attention-driven. Although she never really wants to be the center of attention, she unwillingly forces consequence to make her come into the spotlight. All she wants to do is disappear or simply do what she wants in a given situation (ref. golf course with tag line guy). To have situations forced on her is a restriction in itself.
    Charlotte Gainsbourg delivers, as always, for Lars in this one too.
    Beautiful wardrobe on both characters.

  2. November 6, 2011 at 3:08 am

    That does it! I’m going to have to see this movie (It’s not showing yet in my area). I definitely saw something in clothesonfilm’s review that pertained to me.

    Isn’t it interesting that “all she wants to do is disappear” but she sticks out like a sore thumb because NO ONE wants to disappear. You’d have to be crazy, right?

    Oh, I love Charlotte Gainsbourg. I think this movie was perfectly cast.

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