29 of 38 people found the following review helpful
26. Rated XXX-cellent,
This review is from: Nymphomaniac Vol I. & Vol II. (2 Disc Blu-ray) (Blu-ray)
With all the hype built up around its release, one's first thought would be that "Nymphomaniac" is just glorified porn. Actually, it is far from being even pornographic. Split into 2 parts (Volume I-118 mins, and Volume II-124 mins), and divided into 8 chapters, the film follows Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg), a woman in her fifties, a self-diagnosed sex maniac, spinning a tale about her sex life from childhood through to her middle-age. Unfolding a series of flash-backs, Volume I recounts Joe's vigorous childhood and youthful erotic experiences, while Volume II contemplates her desires against the overpowering pressures and constraints of adulthood. Taking in the whole of the singular human experience, including the body and the mind, sex and love, and all the connections between them, in the end the story comes full circle, almost as if it were a thought-provoking psychological insight into a world of sexuality, loneliness, and love.
Director Lars Von Trier, as the passionate, creative film-maker that he is, once again overflows his self righteous, controversial views into his work, not worrying about how outrageous these may be. Being mostly narrative and drama, the movie contains about 20 minutes of sexual material throughout the entire 4 hours, featuring some explicit adult scenes. Some may find these depictions erotic, but this material is relatively restrained, and so is unlikely to offend anyone, especially those familiar with the director's work. Obviously not an easy film to watch, but a very interesting one which requires close attention and an open mind. Complex, dark, raw, repellent, stimulating, lyrical, shocking, intelligent, often hilarious, occasionally exhausting, "Nymphomaniac" is simply not the pornographic epic that the press have been claiming to be. Rich in content, depth and imagery, it is a movie for adults, but not in the sense mostly associated with this term. XXX, indeed: X-uberant, X-hilarating, X-istential.
Note: This particular edition contains Volumes I & II. If you want the complete 5,5-hour version of the film, look out for the Director's Cut, released in May 2015.