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3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
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on 19 July 2017
Spoiler free review here, read this and not the others that give too much of it away.
Nymphomaniac is a 2013 film lasting 4 hours (or 5 1/2 if you watch the directors cut) directed by the Danish eccentric director Lars Von Trier. If you aren't familiar with his work, he also directed Antichrist, an experimental horror film, Melancholia, a film about the end of the world and Dogville, a murder film with a stage as the setting. You have to understand him a bit to make sense of what he is trying to say in this movie. There is much to be taken away, religious, musical, mathematical and philosophical references weaves into a story about an adventure that turns dark. It is a must watch if you are a European cinema enthusiast, and aren't easily offended, as real sex is shown and some of it can be disturbing.
It begins with a snowy setting in an alleyway where a woman Joe (Gainsbourg) is injured and is found by an old man Seligan (Skarsgard) who offers to help, she refuses, he invites her inside where she drinks tea, rests and recovers while she tells him her story reluctantly. Seligman is a proxy for the audience, a way for us to hear Joes experience, except Seligman doesn't judge, he only listens to her, and makes amusing metaphorical and allegorical comparisons, like relating the process of catching men to sleep with to catching fish. In Von Trier style there is a dark comical element, when Joe loses her virginity the penetrations on screen are counted 3 times, then 5, resembling the Fibonacci sequence, shown on screen. Jerôme, (Shia La Boeuf) is her only recurring lover, played with an English accent not of this world, sounding more like an Australian hybrid. While it is amusing, the acting performances by all (Uma Thurman, Christian Slater, Willem Dafoe as a debt collector) are all stellar as well as the main cast of course. Despite many of the cast limited to cameos as Joes life moves on, the viewer is still provided with a memorable moment filmed with excellent cinematography and Von Trier style archive footage of Lions, fishing, and skies.
The tone of part I is playful and lighter in nature, while occasionally shocking, while part II lays it on thick in a much darker way, as the tragedy of this film plays out. It is a tragedy in the classical sense, but like I said I won't spoil it.
The characters are written mostly but not completely realistic, as it is much debatable how a woman can be a sex addict and behave in that way, but on the most part, Joe Seligman and Jerome are plausible, and remain so until a twist ending in the final twenty minutes, which in my opinion, the ending was awful and betrayed the way the characters were set up. Some of the plot is illogical but that's just Von Trier.
Enjoy the film, I don't reccommend it for everyone and make sure to set time in your schedule to watch it, you have to watch it all at once in my opinion, since it was intended that way.
P.S. The directors cut includes an abortion debate, a self operated abortion, and more close ups, which LVT himself was fine with emitting so it you can't get hold of the extended cut, or don't want to spend the extra 1 1/2 hours it's fine also.
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on 3 May 2017
Bought for someone who didn't want the record of buying this on their shared account, I ain't fussed. Apparently it was entertaining - I just wish Amazon wouldn't prompt me to click on the "you might like these" pictures when I shop here...
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on 19 June 2017
Interesting point of view and unexpected ending of both discs.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 June 2016
"Nymphomaniac" is a complex, serious and dark movie which amounts, in my opinion, to nothing less than cinematic gold. It's dramatic and bold, representing a piece of sexual art on film. This Blu-ray set contains both Volume 1 & 2, and is the theatrical release (at approx. 4 hours in length). Yet a complete version of this movie - the director's cut - is available, with an additional 90 minutes of material. Both versions are similarly priced. I recommend the extended edition (which I've reviewed separately, at 5 stars).

This is a superbly made movie, directed by Lars von Trier (whose earlier work includes “Melancholia” and “Antichrist”), and who is known for making explicit and artistic films. It is a two-part drama, and involves both fantastic writing and great acting. There are several well-known actors in the film, including Christian Slater, Shia LaBeouf, Uma Thurman, Willem Dafoe, and Stellan Skarsgård. Yet the stand-out contributions are by Charlotte Gainsbourg and Stacy Martin – especially Martin, who takes lead role as the central character Joe aged from 15 to 31. But in many ways, it's an ensemble piece - and all contributions are top notch.

The film is about a woman who's telling her life story, from childhood to her 40's. And the defining aspect of her life is that she's a nymphomaniac. The movie explores her sexual adventures, which are many and varied. And full-on sex is shown ... I'm impressed that the film received an 18 rating, rather than an 18R (attitudes are obviously becoming more liberal). The Blu-ray has excellent picture and sound quality. Note: the movie is in English.

It's not a happy film, and the lead character is often very depressed with her life. Yet, as a viewer, I found myself engaged and connected to the difficulties and plight of this woman. Often the film is demanding, as it deals with tragic and problematic issues, but it always adopts a serious (rather than wontedly titillating) approach.

While I'm sure that this film isn't for everyone, I thoroughly recommend it for adult viewers who are interested in this sort of explicit, character-driven story.
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on 15 June 2016
Predictable ending..... bit disappointing
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on 25 July 2014
Weird Film But Well Put Together
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on 8 December 2015
After the first hour you will find yourself not caring about ANY of the characters. Too much pointless dialogue and I am CONVINCED that Charlotte Gainsbourg can't act!! The Berlin Wall had more depth than her!!
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on 6 July 2016
boring rubbish , repetitive , would not recommend , neither wonder charlotte g isn't really mainstream because if you star in films of this calibre it wont do anything for your career , anything more would stretch her talent
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on 30 December 2014
This film has its moments (especially a hilarious scene with two black guys, and the scene with Uma Thurman), but overall it is far far too long and at the end you are left thinking what was the point. The sheer implausibility of the film left me behind on occasion (the most implausible part being when Joe, a rather frail and delicate-looking lady as played by Charlotte Gainsbourg, suddenly out of nowhere starts working as a gangster). Another bit which made me laugh was when she says she was holding down a full-time job and seeing up to 10 men per day (obviously not written by anybody who has ever held down a full-time job!). And at one point Joe asks an interpreter whether he speaks "African languages " apparently blissfully unaware that there are hundreds of them. I couldn't help wondering why Joe didn't simply become an escort, as it at least would remove the problem of having to spend time earning a living which takes away from feeding the nymphomania (but that would have been far too logical and mundane for a von Trier film). Nor is it this film a psychological study; you never really get inside Joe's head and find out why she is the way she is (the scenes about her childhood are not particularly traumatising or unusual as childhoods go). It seems a bit like a morality play, and the characters seem symbolic rather than three dimensional. I also thought that it was obviously written by a man, and the same story as written by a woman would have been very different. Overall, it comes across as quite an anti-sex film, not so much a fantasy as an anti-fantasy - the sex is filmed quite explicitly but always in a very un-erotic way, and the ending seems to have an anti-sex message (I didn't like the ending, but can't give away what it is). By the way, some of the actors pictured in a state of arousal on the DVD cover do not have any sex in the film (e.g. Willem Dafoe, Uma Thurman), so the cover is rather misleading in not being related to the film. Please don't watch this in hope of titillation; if anything it will put you off sex, which is what it seems intended to do. I just wish it had done it more briefly.
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on 8 June 2015
absolute drivel
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