Nymphomaniac: Vol. I

2013

Action / Drama

65
IMDb Rating 7 10 101161

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Shia LaBeouf as Jerôme
Stellan Skarsgård as Seligman
Uma Thurman as Mrs. H
Christian Slater as Joe's Father

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Lo Desain 10 / 10

If all you saw in this movie was sex, I pity you.

So many people wrote how "disturbed" they were by "this shitty sex movie". I divide them into two groups:

1. First group decided to watch the film because they love sex, porn, and the title "Nymphomaniac" sure sounds like their kind of thing. Then they went to cinema (or Internet), watched it, and were disappointed because "they had to listen to a lot of boring dialogues before there was a sex scene" (to which they could masturbate to if they were alone). Then when a sex scene would finally come, it wasn't as exciting as it "should have been". So they were disturbed at how much this movie didn't fulfill their expectations.

And they are right, it didn't. Because it's not a shitty, cheap movie, meant to get them turned on. As unbelievable as it sounds to them, the purpose of both the film and the sex scenes go much deeper. And if only they had bothered to pay a little more attention to the "boring dialogue", perhaps they would have noticed that the meaning of the movie - and the real story - goes on in that conversation. And the sex scenes were not as sexy as they "should have been", according to them, because it's not about turning people on. It's a film for you brain, not your genitals. And that is precisely why people from the group one were disappointed. Good.

2. The second group are the people who were "disturbed" because there were too many explicit sex scenes. I have nothing to say about this except: Are you serious??? Have you looked up the definition of the word "nymphomaniac" before you decided to watch it? And again, they missed the purpose because for some reason unknown to me, they were too focused on the "filthy" sex scenes in the film named ~Nymphomaniac~ that they missed to actually watch it.

The point is: If you focus on the ~sex~, you won't like this movie, nor get it. Therefore, if you want a cheap turn on, just go watch porn, and let artists like Lars take sex to a different level, a little above the primitive urge.

Because the reason Joe was "a horny bitch" is a little different than yours.

Reviewed by Mark Beckmann 1 / 10

Aweful, Disgusting, Obnoxious

Simply tedious, full of extraordinarily disgusting scenes. Such an ultra-long so-called movie about nonsense, without a particular target or message. Might be useful for pervert. Total waste of time; happy that haven't paid on that.

Reviewed by Nigel P 9 / 10

Spoilers for parts 1 and 2.

'Nymphomaniac' is a huge project written and directed by Lars von Trier. Trier has proven a controversial figure over the years, with his filmic output attracting similar contention and many awards (Shia LaBeouf, who stars as Jerome, has said about von Trier that he is 'dangerous. He scares me. And I'm only going to work now when I'm terrified.'). Trier suffers from depression, and appears to inject some of his personality into the characters. This is my first experience of his work, and I absolutely love it.

A beautifully directed opening, simply featuring snow falling on an industrial landscape, water dripping from roofing, slowly reveals the beaten and broken figure of a young woman Joe. She is found by lonesome scholar, bachelor Seligman, whose quiet ways mask his erudite intelligence. When Joe stirs, she too, is very well spoken, very refined. After she refuses medical treatment, he takes her to his spacious but dilapidated home. Therein, with the falling snow outside acting as a constant backdrop, she tells him about herself. She is a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac, and despises herself for it. Using his own interests as a yardstick, Seligman interprets her self-loathing, often into something more positive. Joe's stories are divided into various chapters, sometimes resulting in her destroying lives and relationships, sometimes not. Seligman's precise and dispassionate synopsis is because he is a virgin and remains sexually unmoved by Joe's forthright, graphic accounts.

Possibly the most disturbing chapter is 6. "The Eastern and the Western Church (The Silent Duck)", in which Joe visits 'K' (Jamie Bell) to assuage her never-ending sexual dependency. The violence inflicted upon her willing person is punishing and sadistic - and it comes at a heavy price: the loss of Joel and son Marcel. Here we are actually seeing the regular repercussions and personal consequences of her condition and it is horrific.

'Nymphomaniac' is fascinating throughout. The playing is exemplary, the direction beautifully contrasting the ramshackle calm of Seligman's existence, and the unstoppable, often self-destructive calamity of Joe's addiction to sex. Sometimes the scenes are extremely graphic for a brief time, but such is the surrounding story and reasons for her carnal addiction, they convey the nature of her being rather than shock. There is a poetic sense of symmetry to certain events, words and statistics that ensures many things come full circle. And ultimately, that the flaws of the characters dovetail each other in a very satisfying manner.

The cast list contains Charlotte Gainsburg and Stacey Martin as Joe at different ages, Stellan Skarsgård as Seligman, and features Christian Slater, Uma Thurman, William Defoe and Udo Kier amongst many other very talented, naturalistic actors. The excellent Mia Goth plays 'P' (Goth is starring in a forthcoming remake of 'Suspiria' in 2018). My only complaint would be that the actors playing young versions of the characters look unlike the older versions - that is, if everything else wasn't so perfect. And perfect isn't a word I have cause to use very often.

'Nymphomaniac' was released in two parts in the UK, but has a total running time of either 241 minutes or 325 minutes, depending on whether you see the uncut version or not. It has deservedly won multiple awards, including three for Trier himself. Devoting the time to watch is an undertaking, but is worth it, because your eyes will never dare to leave the screen.

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