Review: Nymphomaniac: Volume I and II

Four hours I spent in the cinema tonight, and it was four hours well spent! I have waited a long time to see this film, as it had a good cast, interesting story and a scandinavian director. To my surprise the screening was full, I thought this film only appealed to weird film geeks like me, I guess not. The film is originally 5 and a half hours long, but due to making it more appealing to the audience it was cut in half and also trimmed so these two parts in all lasts for 4 hours! Both films were shown after each other here in Norway. I myself would have preferred the uncut directors version, so I hope it will be out on dvd or something later. I always believe the directors cut is the best, cause that’s how it was supposed to be in the first place. Censorship is a biatch for an auteur filmmaker who doesn’t make films to please the capitalists.


Director: Lars Von Trier
Cast: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgård, Shia Labeouf, Uma Thurman, Willem Dafou, Jamie Bell
Genre: Drama / Erotic

Plot: Self-acclaimed nymphomaniac Joe tells the story of her life to Seligman, a man who found her beaten up and decided to take care of her.

Volume I: 124 mins

Consists of chapter:

1.   “The Compleat Angler”
2.   “Jerôme”
3.   “Mrs. H”
4    “Delirium”
5.   “The Little Organ School”

Part 1 was my favorite. It consists of the 5 first chapters (out of 8) of Joe’s erotic journey. Why it was my favorite is because it had a lighter mood than Part II (Especially the 3 first Chapters), and it was easier to digest.

It begins with Joe’s first discovery of her ‘cunt’, as she puts it nicely herself, through her ‘first time’, through her first and only “love”, her relationship with her family, people she’s hurt and so on. She believes she is a bad person because of the things she’s done, but her new friend Seligman is trying to convince her she’s not by using examples and metaphors from history describing her exact stories and feelings.

Volume II: 123 mins

Consists of Chapter:

6.  “The Eastern and the Western Church (The Silent Duck)”
7.  “The Mirror”
8.  “The Gun”

Part II is a bit darker than part I. It consists of the last 3 chapter of Joe’s journey, and these chapters are a bit more serious than the last as it consists of violence, torture and dealing with sex addiction to name a few elements without revealing anything. Jamie Bell plays a very different (sadistic) role than i’m used to seeing him in, but he plays it well. And the ending, not exactly shocking, but I wish it could’ve been different… Not that it is bad, it is just unlucky and sad for the main character! aka frustrating for the audience aka me!! I was just thinking: “WHY OH WHY DID IT HAVE TO END THIS WAY 😦 ”

 All in All:

I recommend this (these) film(s) highly. It had humor, drama, good music (a mix of rock and classical) and it also makes you think a bit. Although people may think this looks like a porn movie, I disagree, it’s nothing sexual about the story really.. well of course it’s sexual, but it doesn’t turn you on.. Unless you count the short moments with Shia’s strong back and arms hah. These films speaks about all kinds of different sexualities (heterosexuality, homosexuality, asexuality, pedophilia, hyper-sexuality (nymphomania) to name a few), and about feminism and so much more, which is one reason I think people should see this film! Joe’s character is also deep, her emptiness and reasons for doing what she’s doing is fascinating, and so is the interesting characters she meets on her journey. The cinematography is amazing in my opinion. Von Trier’s use of close ups and long shots, color and black/white pictures and everything in between is very well sown together, and keeps it interesting and artsy. I also think the script is great because it makes you laugh in between all the seriousness of the film, which is needed when talking about such a serious topic. Specially the part with Uma Thurman, Chapter 3: Mrs H, is awesome, she plays her role really well, and the script in these chapter is hilarious and sarcastic, and you feel sorry for the characters and so much emotion. So. Good.

“With Nymphomaniac, Lars von Trier wishes to transfer, in film, previously unseen qualities from the world of literature. A monumental film about the female erotic desire, with claims and counter-claims, conflicting angles, and moral or perhaps precisely immoral observations. Because through the help of the main story, the film allows for the most strident arguments and wildest thesis, and exactly thereby it creates space for the discussion of it all – the film itself, the human beings, life!” – the makers of the film

There’s not much I could say without revealing important things in the story, so i’m just gonna tell you to go see it for yourself. It is very very good.


– CinaMonster –


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