Nymphomaniac

"Excellent"

Nymphomaniac Review


At four hours long, this drama is as confrontational as anything we've seen by Lars Von Trier (Melancholia), but it's also perhaps his most humane and hopeful film yet. This is a challenging, complex exploration of human sexuality, but it's told with a surprisingly light touch, allowing humour and warmth to seep in around the edges. So even if it's darkly haunting and occasionally shocking, violent or sexually explicit, it's so recognisably honest that we can't help but be moved.

This is the story of Joe (played as a teen by Martin and as an adult by Gainsbourg), who is found near death in an alleyway and nursed back to health by the kindly Seligman (Skarsgard). While she recovers from her injuries, she tells him about her life, which has been defined by sex since she was 2 years old. She loses her virginity as a teen to the greasy biker Jerome (LaBeouf), who will re-enter her life two more times over the following decades. Through the years she struggles to understand love, which she sees as lust plus jealousy. Then when she suspects that love might be the secret ingredient for good sex, her subsequent experiences take her down an unexpected road.

Flashbacks to Joe's life are sequential, so as she narrates her story we experience it along with her. This includes her riotous teen years preying on men as a game, protesting with her friends against a love-fixated society. Getting sex is easy, but making sense of it is something else. She tries being randomly cruel to men, and having a master (Bell) physically abuse her. She experiences love and motherhood, and eventually finds a career as an enforcer for a loan shark (Dafoe). Along the way, Martin and Gainsbourg deliver unflinching performances that let us see Joe's soul. And Skarsgard takes our breath away in an unusually introspective, wrenching role.

There are so many ideas and characters in this epic drama that we can barely take them in. Some elements echo strongly, such as the musical term polyphony, suggesting that all experiences resonate as one to make us who we are. Other metaphors like Seligman continually comparing Joe's sex life to fly-fishing feel a bit forced, as does a key plot point involving a gun. Through all of this, von Trier encourages us to ask extremely deep questions about love, romance, sex and religion. And he also takes on the male-dominated focus of most Hollywood movies by telling this story from Joe's perspective. And in the end, we agree with Seligman that Joe isn't the bad person she thinks she is. She's just human, and that's worth celebrating.

Click here to watch the trailer for Nymphomaniac



Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Production compaines: Zentropa Entertainments

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

IMDB: 7.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Joe, as Seligman, as Jerôme, as L, as Young Joe, as The Waiter, as Debtor Gentleman, as K, as P, Michael Pas as Old Jerôme, as Interpreter, as Therapist, as B, Lien van de Kelder as Clerk in Horse Shop, Laura Christensen as Babysitter, as Psychologist

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

Advertisement
My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.