Melancholia is a 2011 psychological drama science fiction art film written and directed by Lars von Trier and starring Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Kiefer Sutherland, with Alexander Skarsgård, Brady Corbet, Cameron Spurr, Charlotte Rampling, Jesper Christensen, John Hurt, Stellan Skarsgård, and Udo Kier in supporting roles. The film's story revolves around two sisters, one of whom is preparing to marry just before a rogue planet is about to collide with Earth.
Von Trier's initial inspiration for the film came from a depressive episode he suffered. The film is a Danish production by Zentropa, with international co-producers in Sweden, France, Germany and Italy. Filming took place in Sweden. Melancholia prominently features music from the prelude to Richard Wagner's opera Tristan und Isolde (1857–1859). It is the second entry in von Trier's unofficially titled "Depression Trilogy", preceded by Antichrist and followed by Nymphomaniac.
Melancholia premiered 18 May 2011 at the 64th Cannes Film Festival—where it was critically lauded. Dunst received the festival's Best Actress Award for her performance, which was a common area of praise among critics. Although not without its detractors, many critics and film scholars have considered the film to be a personal masterpiece, and one of the best films of 2011.