Nymphomaniac Vol. I – 3 out of 5
Lars von Trier isn’t a director that I usually seek out—and cue the comment about how it’s because I’m not “into art” and only desire to watch “shitty popcorn films.” As a director, I think Trier has a great eye but his writing isn’t the stuff I find that particularly engaging. However, I never let past experiences with writers, directors, Subway sandwich artists have much impact on me and I will always gives a writer, director, Subway sandwich artist another shot to wow me with their book, movie, or meatball sub. I had heard a lot of things about his movie (mostly about how you see penises entering vaginas) and I decided to give it a chance…but, as you can see from the fact that I’m posting this in October after it came out in the summer, I wasn’t really rushing and knocking anything over that got in my way to see it.
|Take one wild fucking guess what is happening to |
One day, a man named Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård) finds a woman (Charlotte Gainsbourg) bleeding and prone in a back alley.
|"Martha and Thomas Wayne? Are you down there?"|
He helps her and brings her to his place to rest and tend to her wounds. The woman says her name is Joe and admits to Seligman that she is a nymphomaniac—which, second closely to a maniac on the dance floor, is probably the only maniac you want to meet in your life. Joe immediately starts to regale Seligman with her sexual exploits and her history. She talks about when she first discovered her sexuality, losing her virginity to a man named Jerôme (Shia LaBeouf), juggling her love of lust, and even the time that a man destroyed his marriage to be with her.
|"It's strange but as your story continues, my pants seem to shrink more and more..."|
Like everyone else on the internet, I heard about how this movie shows some real fucking going on (although, porn star body doubles and stunt cocks were used for this aspect of the film) and this immediately made me think the whole movie is just a gimmick in order to see some real fucking on film but not call itself a porn. Of course, this is Lars von Trier and not some new filmmaker trying to scam his way into a career by, say—I dunno—filming a terribly written horror film and secretly filming it in an amusement park.
|"To continue my story, I demand payment of peanut butter Oreos..."|
|For some reason, she left a copy of Kill Bill to go with her husband that Joe|
Christian Slater plays Joe’s father and, besides the fact that I learned he still is alive, he was giving off a very strong performance—something I haven’t seen from him in a long time.
|I haven't seen him this good since he played Teen Boy in Crime Story|
back in 1986!
However, more surprising than that was the performance from an actor I don’t think very much of…Shia LaBeouf. Nymphomaniac will mark the first time that I’ve watched a film with Stutter LaPlagiarist and said, “Wow, it’s like he’s not even Shia LaBeouf but someone with real talent.” For the first time ever, I’ve watched a film where he was actually the character he was playing and not just Shia LaBeouf failing to be the character he was playing. I was actually impressed…it doesn’t change my opinion of the guy but it definitely showed me that when he wants to, he can act. However, it seems that when he wants to act it means showing off little LaBeouf in the process.
|And then it turns out he just used someone else's performance without their|
|The look on young Joe's face is pretty much the same|
one I had the entire movie.
|Fuck, even Stellan is looking at me like I'm a moron for not worshipping |
Lars von Trier.
There were definitely things I enjoyed about Nymphomaniac Vol. I (like the fishing metaphors, those amused me), things I didn’t care for (the pace of the story), and things I felt didn’t really need to be there (like the graphic sex—it still feels gimmick-y to me) but, overall, the film isn’t terrible or unwatchable. Will I ever watch it again? Nah. But there is the second volume I have to watch…which will literally be the next review. I could have combined them in one but I won’t have any of that nonsense.