Nymphomaniac (Volume I and Volume II) [2014] ★★

nymphomaniac-posterDepending on your reaction to the cinematic outrages perpetrated by Danish director Lars Von Trier (remember Antichrist?), you might want to add or subtract two from the rating I just gave “Nymphomaniac”. It seems that Van Trier enjoys courting controversy, and some of his films are deliberately designed to provoke and upset audiences. But he’s also made some intriguing films, like “Breaking the Waves” and the brilliant “Dogville”, so I try to take each movie as it comes without any prejudice. That said, I thought his latest film was absolutely preposterous. At film festivals, audiences at Van Trier’s films tend to walk out in a huff. That will happen, I guess, when a movie begins with a 15 year old Joe losing her virginity to a much older man (played by Shia LaBeouf). It gets worse when she gets older. What to say? If you’re not familiar with Von Trier’s style, the images will probably singe your eyeballs. But you gotta admit: he orchestrates his twisted stories with great skill, and generates considerable dramatic energy. Unfortunately, it all adds up to nothing. Charlotte Gainsbourg and Stacy Martin (who plays the teen version of Joe) fill the screen with ferocity and feeling. But Von Trier is royally screwing with us, especially when Uma Thurman (who plays the wife of one of Joe’s lovers) asks if it “would be alright if I show the children the whoring bed?”. Ha! Like we needed her to tell us that. At the time of the release of “Antichrist” in 2009, Von Trier spoke about how he made the film during a depression. See “Nymphomaniac” and you’ll know exactly how that feels.

Rating: 2/4

1 reply »

  1. Although I’m not a von Trier fan, I quite liked this one. It’s ridiculously enjoyable. I liked the freedom vs restrictions debates and how each argument was followed by a chapter. Loved the historical references and the misandristic nature of the plot (the very last scene for example) which is quite odd known that Lars is quite a misoginistic storyteller. I still don’t take this movie seriously, it’s just Lars having fun. But I consider it a very humane tale and the ideas, although roughly executed, are true. Not to mention that it’s masterfully directed and occasionally hilarious!

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