Cert: 18 Runtime: 123 mins Director: Lars von Trier Cast: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgård, Stacy Martin, Shia LeBeouf, Willem Dafoe and Jamie Bell
I’m going to tell you a few stories. All you have to do is listen
We’ve dived into Vol.I, now Vol.II of Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac. If you have read my previous review you all know that I was pleasantly surprised by Vol.I. Now to find out if the second part is crucial to the piece. So what is Vol.II all about? In the second instalment of von Trier’s epic meditation, his heroine Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) recounts her efforts to regain pleasure from sex after years of relentless indulgence – sometimes involving up to ten different men a day.Her interlocutor Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård) is by this time almost blasé about what he hears, but still given to erudite, cerebral and sometimes distinctly left-field comments and explanations that Joe scorns. As a dalliance with a high-rolling pervert (Willem Defoe) and a warped professional arrangement with a teenage girl (Mia Roth) add to our sense of Joe’s plight, the long and apparently rambling narrative of Volume I draws towards a sharper spiritual focus – and a shocking ending.In ‘Nymphomaniac Vol. I’ we enter in Joe’s life to discover how is really to be a sex addicted and living with that – since the very beginning: her childhood problems, her lack of motherly love, her infinite connection with her purist father, her first perverse tendencies. After 5 chapters of explanation I wondered what could happen in volume II.The answer is, basically, everything ‘Nymphomaniac Vol. II’ is madly profound that you can’t get one single word to describe this film.
The (again) reference to the ‘3+5’ already seen in the first volume is like a code to understand all of the movie’s essence!She tries to avoid that sequence of numbers but she has no option but living it once again, this time just watching it happen in front of her eyes.’8′ can’t be considered just the sum of 3 with 5. ‘8’ is the key.The key to the meaning and purpose of this all Lars Von Trier’s story and the key to the beauty itself. ‘8’ is an infinite symbol, turned 90 degrees that’s why when you rotate that ‘8’ you can see a reference to Joe’s infinite desire to be accomplished and satisfied sexually.Despite my long explanation I feel I cannot find enough words/expressions to describe ‘Nymphomaniac’ as it needs. Charlotte Gainsbourg is a real woman. Her performance is feels very naturalistic! The role required a lot of matureness and dedication but specially an open-mind that the majority of the adult actresses doesn’t have.Willem Dafoe shows himself to the world for a few minutes as a badass guy – you see… this one is one of those rare actors that every time he appears on the big screen everyone around you notice it.Jamie Bell was a great addition to the cast, a very different role to any I have seen him before. He has come a long way from Billy Elliot. ‘Nymphomaniac’ is probably one of the most accomplished pieces by von Trier, it has passion, has pain, has emotion, has ferociousness and fearfulness. This is by far the darkest of the two, a move that isn’t any surprise to von Trier fans and haters. He really has created a very emotional and graphic ride, that drains any human being at the end.