Hammerman Ikon

Hammerman Ikon Film Guide

Director: Lars von Trier
Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland, Alexander Skarsgård, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt, Stellan Skarsgård, Brady Corbet, Udo Kier

In the visually arresting prologue, planet Melancholia collides with the Earth and the story of two sisters follows in flashback. In the first half, Claire and her husband John host a disastrous wedding reception for Justine at their country mansion. When they later prepare for the impending doom, the deeply depressed Justine seems at ease and the mentally sound Claire comes apart. Lars von Trier's disaster film is a fascinating allegory but a slightly unconvincing character drama. Justine and Claire represent the polarities of the human psyche, but Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg, although both excellent, do not look or sound anything like real-life sisters. The climactic events at the mansion are beautifully staged yet oddly self-contained.