Okay, I've had another night to think over MELANCHOLIA, and I've come to the absolute conclusion that I need to see it again. I liked the Emerson review, especially for leading me to the film's website where vT (or just T if you are an Emersonian) is asking viewers to look underneath the "nice" and the "polish." I'm now determined to do so.
As much as it pains me to imagine a "grown up" Lars (thanks for the Nazi comments at least to stop that argument), I'm curious to see how he is adapting his humor and nihilism to new forms. Maturity is a hard word to swallow. It's like our friend Todd settling down. But if Lars has found a new way to channel his cynicism or to mask it behind things then I want to dig down with him.
I'm already starting to like the film the more I think about as a whole. I agree with you John that it's better in retrospect than it was watching it. Part of me still wants to dislike it for being too likable. Part of me wants that infantile rejection of maturity and tastefulness. But the other part of me realizes that there are other ways to make art, and that an artist, like everything else, is in constant flux.
I feel a little like when an underground band you love puts out a more mainstream album and people start getting on board. Your first instinct is to recoil. But this is all focused on externals. I need to sit down with the film again and watch it for what it is and let Brandon's approval be damned haha.
Still, if indeed my punk juvenile has "grown up" as John suggests then I'm going to need a moment of silence followed by some Tom Waits to help me through it: