7:00 PM, 4th October, 2014
One cold winter night, Seligman (Skarsgård) finds a woman beaten up in an alleyway. He brings her to his apartment and tends to her wounds. She’s Joe (Gainsbourg), she’s a self-confessed nymphomaniac, and she begins to tell her story…
Lars Von Trier is undoubtedly one of cinema’s most notorious enfants terribles. And Nymphomaniac may be his magnum opus. Certainly, it’s epic in scope – over four hours and comprising two separate films (both showing in a double feature tonight, separated by a 10-minute interval), with action taking place over 50 years in 8 chapters – and it boasts a huge cast and a narrative that covers everything from high drama to ridiculous comedy, with violence, passion and a reasonable amount of intellectual analysis from Seligman (not all of it necessarily pertinent to Joe’s story). And yes, there is unsimulated sex in this film, quite a fair bunch of it (though the name actors apparently have their faces digitally superimposed on body-doubles).
This is not for the faint-hearted, and I’m sure if you’re looking for cheap thrills there are easier ways to see a pair of boobs. But if you’re interested in a challenging, strange, confounding, perverse and disturbing look at sexuality, this film should intrigue and captivate you.