Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgård, Stacy Martin, Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater
Director: Lars von Trier
“A self-diagnosed nymphomaniac recounts her erotic experiences to the man who saved her after a beating.” (IMDb)
»Currently streaming on Netflix«
What to Expect
Why You Should Watch It
Too Weird, Even for Me (F)
This film starts out with a lot of promise. Joe (Gainsbourg/Martin) finds parallels between her base, sexual encounters and more sophisticated arts such as fishing and Bach. Through Skarsgård’s enthusiastic and non-judgmental Seligman, her sexual habits are normalized. Beauty is found in the shame. Yet the story fizzles around halfway to reveal it’s nothing more than some poetic waxing of a sad girl who has a lot of sad sex and (surprise) is none the happier for it. By Chapter 4 or 5 the parallels start getting old and you get the sneaking suspicion that this first half of this four-hour journey toward Joe’s beating could have been succinctly summed up in one sentence (I refused to waste time watching Vol. II but I read a thorough synopsis and can say, yes, yes it could have been).
When we reached the scene with Mrs. H (played by Uma Thurman), I was ready to give up on this film. Why did Joe just stand around and say nothing when she could have immediately explained that she didn’t care for Mr. H and shooed them out the door to have their own domestic squabble while she prepared for her next lover. If she truly didn’t have any feelings about being a homewrecker, why draw out that pointless scene?
There are many people who enjoy this movie (Netflix even suggested it was a 98% match for me), but the more Lars von Trier films I see, the more I’m starting to think he just isn’t my cup of tea.