Nymphomaniac ★★½

Lars Von Trier’s latest effort about a nymphomaniac that recounts her sexual encounters to a stranger is mostly derivative and just a poor excuse for the director to constantly show explicit sex scenes and nudity in hopes to shock the audience and stir controversy. The movie has a few redeeming qualities like when it investigates the relationship between Joe and her father. It can be touching at times and Christian Slater was excellent in this role. Also, I thought Trier captured her notions of love and loneliness in an interesting manner, creating several analogies as a way to express how Joe feels about these experiences. However, this form of storytelling starts to become tiresome since it’s really overused here. For instance, Seligman is always analyzing and comparing her stories with his own experience in fishing against the current, which I honestly found a bit uninteresting. It didn’t help that Charlotte Gainsbourg’s facial expressions never change and her performance is quite bland (She was amazing in Melancholia though). Fortunately, that’s only the first chapter and the film gets better with the introduction of Mrs. H, Uma Thurman’s character. That was certainly the highlight of the film for me and I thought the whole sequence was brilliant. I really had a laughing riot at that point (so did the audience) but it’s one of those moments you feel bad for laughing as it’s a pretty tragic situation. Overall, Nymphomaniac isn’t bad, but the unnecessary high amount of analogies, pointless sex scenes and some very embarrassing moments make it a mediocre film at best. Snippets of Volume II are actually shown after the movie ends and new actors will be introduced like Willem Dafoe and Jamie Bell. From what I’ve seen, it appears to be even darker, but I’m afraid I am not very interested in watching it now.

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