Masculinity is a key driver of the plot. This is a town where men hunt, are given guns before they shave the first down off their cheeks, have families and do everything to protect them. This is a patriarchy of vast bearded men who drink and fight and kill.
In anticipation of 12/21/12, this past year saw a return of the doomsday film. Melancholia was an okay end-of-the-world movie, but for this fan, it was not a very good Lars Von Trier film. Perhaps a third viewing is in order.