If there were one chocking, out of the box, and unusual release for this beginning of the year, it was indeed NYMPHOMANIAC from Lars Von Trier. I mean, it was supposed to be.
When you first look at the excite posters, with the fourteen actors, like Charlotte Gainsbourg, Shia LaBeouf, Uma Thurman and Willem Dafoe, posing coming, one might expect a certain way of showing sex on the screen. Nonetheless, the movie hasn’t neither an erotic treatment nor a pornographic one. Actually, you are not quite sure if sex or sexuality is really raised up along the movie.
Maybe we will be able to reach this point on the second volume released at the end of the month. Either way, you can figure it out, there is something wrong in the storytelling and the strategy implemented by the director. Why should we have to wait the second volume to actually see the main theme? Worst, is the theme ever treated in the both movies?
First, it seems obvious that all the cast does not reach orgasm in the movie as there is nothing really exciting or disgusting showing up. You are following a young women suffering from her pathologic need without really see the suffering. Indeed, the movie ends with her claiming “I cannot feel anything!”.
Then, with her telling her story, you wish you’d understand more or at least put a foot inside this complicated feeling almost taboo to gain something from the film.
As the story is told, many events seem not really happening or are suspicious. Is the main character suffering from nymphomania or mythomania? As she said “choose to believe my story is real, if you want to take the most of it “. So, in order to not be too disappointed, you have to try to follow her narration without escaping from a platonic maybe antipathetic character. Actually, this feeling reminds me of the one I had for the main character in YOUNG & BEAUTIFUL by François Ozon.
Consequently, you might be disappointed as you have plenty of expectations but none are fulfilled. From the marketing campaign to the director last movie ANTICHRIST, you may believe in a sulfurous film with sex shots without any boundaries. Still, the director fooled his audience. Since his past scandal at Cannes Film Festival, the Danish director likes to go against the media but his audience as well. To be honest, when you watched BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR or L’INCONNU DU LAC you have been much more exposed to sex scenes more gripping, provocative and so more memorable.
As a matter of fact, you will discover the truth regarding all the details that made the buzz around the movie.
On one hand, at the beginning of the feature, you will read the theatrical version is actually a commercial edition that Lars Von Trier agreed on but did not participate in. Why claim such thing? Does the director blame his producers, his funders or the entire society? Do we have to believe in such mascarade? Like the director has to endure censorship or ironically played us again with another provocation.
On the other hand, a lot of noises were about the physical implication of the actors regarding the sex scenes. Another lie! Since at the end of the credits, you will read another confession that none of the actor actually performed any sex scene.
Nonetheless, the campaign ceaselessly tries to tease the audience since an uncensored edition will be released in DVD. Don’t teach Granny to suck eggs!
Here is the truth, with many digressions about fishing, Fibonacci sequence and Bach Cantus Firmus, you will actually see that there are the main substance of the movie. As the director put more passion explaining those elitist topics than nymphomania, the one presented on the main title of the movie. The more the film goes on, the more nymphomania looks like an pretext for those digressions. Again, too many expectations considering the result. At least, thanks to Seligman (Stellan Skarsgard) character, you will learn what is polyphony through Bach compositions. I’m not sure Bach would appreciate such metaphors on his work…