We expected a lot from the other part of the movie “Nymphomaniac” since the first half was very disappointing… It still is.
It’s neither shocking nor interesting. If you expect something subversive, pass your way. Even if I won’t advice to any children to see that movie (the fact that Volume 1 is PG-12 and not restricted in France is just non-sense) but after the huge marketing that movie benefited about how trash it is, I expected it to be at least a little more shocking through the numerous sex scenes.
Here, sex is just an excuse (like in the volume 1) to explore other topics such as Beethoven or the Orthodox Church. Von Trier tries to intellectualize sex and addiction, he psychoanalyses it and we have a weird feeling he is messing with us while doing it.
He tries to educate us which is pretty annoying since he promised a totally different movie. It’s actually mostly funny : two black men talk about having sex with Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and end up not doing it, or angry ducks are used to illustrate a penetration…
Von Trier tries to make of Gainsbourg a Madonna or an anti-one by trying to link her sex addiction to a divine explanation (!), tries to make her a rebel, a reflection or even a response to what is wrong with our society.
He pushes it even to the point of making her the ultimate symbol of feminism. A lot of scenes are awkward or completely ridiculous.
The directing is still inventive in a good way for the most shots so that makes the movie more “watchable” (minus the excessive use of close ups towards the end).
Gainsbourg’s acting is often tepid as all the other parts except perhaps Stellan Skarsgård’s one.
To sum up, it could have been a good, even a great movie, one that could have been remembered as the ultimate subversive movie, or just as subversive as it has been promised to be. It is not, it’s soon forgotten and that’s for the best…