I don’t think there’s an actress working in the world today doing stronger work than Kirsten Dunst. There seemed to be a fair share of people who shared said opinion after her turn in Lars Von Trier’s "Melancholia" - and for good reason. Her performance exuded dread; it personified depression. The shock isn’t that she’s followed it up with another best-of-the-year performance. The shock is that the followup performance is just as dark as her turn in Trier’s masterpiece - and it comes via a screwball comedy, too.
"Bachelorette" follows Dunst, Isla Fischer, and Lizzy Kaplan as they prepare for the wedding of their ’fat friend,’ Rebel Wilson. They’re all still single, and find plenty of time to lament that fact. But none so much as Dunst. She tears through the night-long film with a caustic fury; snorting up cocaine as quickly as she tears down others’ confidence (it’s amazing watching her - solely with facial gestures - sizing up her peers’ insecurities, and then waiting for the perfect moment to attack them). In "Melancholia," she’s a disaster, but in "Bachelorette" she’s a monster. Somehow, she made both turns eminently humane, with a naturalistic ease that most actors can’t find even in a standard rom-com.
Leslye Headland’s directorial debut comes loaded with a feature length commentary (from the aforementioned filmmaker), but not much else. There’s another 5 minutes or so of bloopers and behind-the-scenes footage hidden away, but you’re here for Dunst’s performance, not for interview footage of her talking about it. Simultaneously an apocalyptic force and a glamorous pinup - she’s the cinema’s smart blonde.