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Kirsten Dunst Says Sci-Fi Romance 'Upside Down' Is Like An Accessible 'Brazil'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist October 4, 2011 at 6:13AM

For a moment there, it seemed like Kirsten Dunst might have found her career floundering in the wake of the Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" trilogy, but not only has the actress found her footing, her upcoming roster of films would be the envy of any thesp in Hollywood. There is no better indication than "Melancholia" that Dunst is moving in a new direction. While opinion may be split on Lars Von Trier's film, there is no denying that Dunst's turn in the lead role is easily the best performance of her career, and those on the Croisette thought so too as she walked home with the Best Actress prize this spring. And unlike the events in the film, the future for Dunst after "Melancholia" is looking very bright with a number of promising projects on the horizon.
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For a moment there, it seemed like Kirsten Dunst might have found her career floundering in the wake of the Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" trilogy, but not only has the actress found her footing, her upcoming roster of films would be the envy of any thesp in Hollywood. There is no better indication than "Melancholia" that Dunst is moving in a new direction. While opinion may be split on Lars Von Trier's film, there is no denying that Dunst's turn in the lead role is easily the best performance of her career, and those on the Croisette thought so too as she walked home with the Best Actress prize this spring. And unlike the events in the film, the future for Dunst after "Melancholia" is looking very bright with a number of promising projects on the horizon.

With "Melancholia" making its way to the New York Film Festival this week, we caught up with Dunst and she was happy to share some of her thoughts on the movies she has coming up, which range from raunchy comedy to heady, sci-fi romance.

After spending some months contemplating the end of the world with Lars Von Trier, “Bachelorette” is likely a nice change of pace. Written by Leslye Headland (”Terriers”)—who will also be directing—the story follows three best friends who are invited to be bridesmaids at the wedding of a girl they called “Pigface” in high school. Dunst plays the bombshell wittier third of the trio of gals in a film she described as a "naughty movie." With Adam Scott, Lizzy Caplan and Isla Fisher also on board, and backed by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay's Gary Sanchez production shingle, this seems poised to be a winner. But Dunst notes, "They're changing the title."

And while Dunst will also appear in Walter Salles' forthcoming "On The Road," the one we're most curious about is the futuristic "Upside Down." Directed by Juan Solanas, the film follows Adam (Jim Sturgess) a seemingly ordinary guy who is holding on to the memory of Eve, a girl he met once upon a time from another world, an inverted affluent place with its own gravity. Their childhood flirtation becomes an impossible love but when he catches a glimpse of grown-up Eve on television, nothing will get in the way of getting her back.

Describing it as "kinda like a sci-fi, romance thing, weird, but cool." Dunst goes on to say, "It's kind of like for kids and adults, it's really beautiful. The director Juan Solanas won best short at Cannes [for "The Man Without a Head"] and he has his own style of animating things that's really special."

Asked if there is animation in the film, Dunst made an interesting comparison. "No, but it's the way the special effects are done, it looks more like a painting than real," she explained. "Kind of like an accessible 'Brazil,' that's how I describe it."

Of course, she's referring to Terry Gilliam's legendary 1985 film whose distinctive noir/retro-future look made it stand apart from anything else at the time. But we would agree with Dunst that it's not exactly a mainstream film -- if "Upside Down" brings its own similarly styled aesthetic within some broader sci-fi trappings, we'll still be very curious to see the results. The first looks at the film thus have been undoubtedly intriguing.

But with no release date just yet, we'll have to wait and see when it lands. Until then, you can catch "Melancholia" at NYFF or when it hits VOD this Friday. But if you're holding out for the big screen experience, it opens in limited release starting November 11th.

This article is related to: Films, Actresses, Bachelorette, Upside Down, Kirsten Dunst, New York Film Festival


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