Sunday, March 09, 2014

Review - Nymphomaniac: Volume I (2014)

Starring Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard and Shia LaBeouf
Directed by Lars von Trier.

Synopsis: A self-diagnosed nymphomaniac recounts her erotic experiences to the man who saved her after a beating.

Who needs porn when you have Lars von Trier Nymphomaniac series? The movie begins with Seligman (Stellan Skargard) who finds Joe (Charlotte Gainbourg) beaten up in an alley. He takes her into his home where she recounts the tale of her sexual obsession growing up. Her story is told in a series of flashbacks and it is here that we witness why Nymphomaniac has been getting all its attention. The film consists of actual sex scenes, as director Lars von Trier decides to leave nothing covered. You get the full blunt of nymphomania in this film --- forget about romance.

A younger Joe is played by Stacy Martin in the flashbacks, and she gets most of the screen time. She delivers a solid performance, as I found myself rather fascinated and disgusted by her raw promiscuity. When we aren't absorbed by Joe's sexual journey, we are engaged in deep intellectual conversations from Seligman and Joe in present time, all in some way philosophically relating to Joe's sexual plight. Despite the sensitive subject matter at hand, Nymphomaniac has its bouts of dark humour, not to mention lovely cinematography to fit its dark mood. Director Lars von Trier is able to craft together an absorbing, intellectual and highly fascinating tale of sexual obsession. Superbly structured and a downright interesting watch.

Rating: 8/10