From the very controversial Danish writer-director Lars Von Trier, comes the most provocative film of the year. Make that years. And make that films. Because part two is on the way the first weekend of april and a 5-and-a-half hour director’s cut is also on the way. In Europe, “Nymphomanic” was released as one 4-hour orgy. We get 2 movies filled with the sexistory of the British Joe, played by two actresses: newcomer Stacy Martin and Trier favorite Charlotte Gainesbourg.
The title says it all. We get the entire sexual history of Joe. From childhood to the present . The full monty. Not just the actresses. There’s Shia LaBeouf in all his glory. And Christian Slater’s bare butt. Yes- this most sexual mainstream film ever . We’re talking big name stars, including Uma Thurman , Connie Nielsen and Stellan Skarsgard, who is the seemingly kind, sympathetic man who hears Joe’s confession . Willem Dafoe and Jamie Bell join the lineup in part 2. Not everyone is nude and/or having sex.
Uma has the funniest scene as a cheater’s wife who takes her 3 young sons to Joe’s apartment asking if it would be alright “if I showed the children the whoring bed”.
Yes, this is a comedy at times. I’m not sure he meant it as comedy but Shia LaBeouf’s accent kept morphing from Brit to German.
As you ask yourself, am I really watching Shia LaBeouf have sex with this girl, the answer is no. The stars are NOT the ones having sex. Porn star body parts are spliced in. That’s some flawless editing. So no, you don’t see LaBeouf in the act, though he has claims on record he had real sex on screen . Then there’s the penis montage. A close to 2 minute long slideshow of penises of all sizes and shapes, both circumsized and not.
This film dabbles in more than sex. We’re talking everything from religion to math, art and even fly fishing. Yes, it goes into how-to mode with fly fishing. I never knew trolling for sex is like “reading the river”.
This one is maddeningly artsy at times. The film opens to a black screen. For more than a minute. There’s the sound of rain. It feels like an eternity watching the rain on the buildings and trash cans. That kind of artsy.
“Nymphomaniac” is highly entertaining. And highly frustrating. We never get the answer to the begging question: why did Joe become a self-professed nymphomaniac??? And at what point did she start enjoying sex?? Maybe we don’t get those answers because it’s a man’s view of female sexuality. It’s Lars Von Trier’s exploration of female sexuality.
I guarantee you will have a hard (excuse the pun) time trying to stop talking or thinking about this film. It truly is one of a kind. Or two of a kind. Coming in two weeks: a review of “Nymphomanic 2”. Oh- part one is in theaters and on demand. And you can see part two on demand now.