Forget about love; a review of Nymphomaniac (2014)




S: (n) nymphomaniac, nympho (a woman with abnormal sexual desires)


S: (adj) nymphomaniacal, nymphomaniac ((used of women) affected with excessive sexual desire)

Nymphomaniac (2014) is the third film in director Lars Von Trier’s “Depression” trilogy, preceded by Antichrist (2009) and Melancholia (2011). It tells the story of Joe, a self diagnosed sex addict who recounts the story of her sex life from beginning to finish to a man who finds her beaten in an alleyway. The film stars Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgård, Stacy Martin, Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater, Uma Thurman, Jamie Bell, and Willem Dafoe. Yeah, pretty star studded cast for a movie about sex addiction.

The movie’s original cut was actually over four hours long, and for the U.S. release, they decided to split it into two parts. So when I watched this with one of my roommates, we watched Nymphomaniac: Vol. 1, then had dinner, then watched Nymphomaniac: Vol. 2. So it was like watching Kill Bill Volume 1 and 2 in the same day, which I’ve done multiple times.

By far, this movie has more sex and nudity than anything I’ve seen before. Having said that, this IS a movie about sex addiction. The difference between this and some horny teen comedy, however, is these characters, particularly Joe, are suffering and there’s no comedy involved. The movie takes you down a dark route that just gets darker and darker.

This is the first Von Trier movie I’ve ever seen and to be honest, I really liked it. It was unlike anything I’d really seen before. The cinematography was similar to that of Terrence Malick’s with, for lack of a better term, really artsy closeups of objects in the frame. The editing was also a bit… off. Von Trier would, in the middle of conversations, jump cut the shot so it looked as if the movie had skipped a frame because the subject on the screen would sort of twitch. It confused me at first but it grew on me about halfway through the movie.


Everyone does pretty well in this movie, particularly Shia LaBeouf! Right? The kid from the Transformers movies actually did well in something! Uma Thurman is only in one scene of the movie but she kills her role, and I personally loved Jamie Bell in his part of the movie. He plays this S&M guy and if you think I’m a freak for liking someone in that role then that’s your opinion, but I think he owned the role. I wish there was more Willem Dafoe in the movie because… Well, Willem Dafoe.

Nymphomaniac is indeed a relatively depressing movie as you see this woman spiral out of control with her addictions, destroying all of her relationships around her and begins to lose touch with her own sanity. I’m very interested to see what the other two films in the Depression Trilogy are like, and if they reflect the same film style as this, then I’m sure I’ll enjoy them.

Overall Rating: 7/10

It’s a dark movie with some racy subject matter for sure, but I really enjoyed the techniques used in it. It’s certainly not for anybody under the age of… I don’t even know, 18? If you plan on watching the movie, just know what you’re getting into.


I don’t even want to post a trailer for the movie because it’s unrated and we’re trying to keep this blog somewhat professional.



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