A Work Of Sex

Nymphomaniac: Volume 2 (2014)
A Review By Ben Hunter
5 Out Of 5 Stars


An uncomfortable experience that subconsciously becomes comfortable and desired to experience again. So much more than sex! 

“Dear everyone, don’t think it’s been easy.  But I understand now … that we’re NOT … and never will be ... alike.  I’m not like you; who fucks to be validated.  Might just as well give up putting cocks inside you.  And I’m not like you.  All you want is to be filled up.  And whether it’s by a man or by tons of … disgusting slop … makes no difference.  And I’m definitely not like you.  That empathy you claim is a lie.  Because all you are … is society’s morality police.  Whose duty is to … erase my obscenity from the surface of the earth, so that the bourgeoisie won’t feel sick.  I’m not like you.  I AM A NYMPHOMANIAC.  And I love myself for being one.  But above all, I love my cunt.  And my filthy ... dirty ... LUST!”
Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) comes to grips with her reality, and can’t shake it.  She continues with the graphic details of her tales of woe to Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård) in the second installment of Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac. 

In the previous story, Joe realizes she needs sex all the time.  In this story, just the mere fact of experiencing it is not enough.  So she has to go to extreme measures to receive that jolt of life in her sexuality.  Jamie Bell, Willem Dafoe, and Mia Goth give her the experience of her life as she ventures out on the quest for true stimulation in reality.

It’s very uncomfortable at times, but because of its brilliantly constructed storylines and dialogue, I find myself entranced in this world and want to experience the un-comfortableness that Joe experiences over and over again.  This is a bit tricky; it’s actually quite impossible to pull off actually.  Otherwise you put the audience at an uneasiness making them not want to experience your story again. 

This was my argument against the Oscar winner 12 Years A Slave.  I don’t ever want to experience that story again, and everyone who loved it would agree.  But that’s the problem in my book.  With Nymph, the moment it was over, I sat there in the theater taking in all I had just experienced, went to the lobby and conversed with a few theater patrons who had just gone on the journey with me, and I mentioned how I couldn’t wait to get home and order it on demand.  Sharing a similar experience in the same theater lobby after the first volume. 

It’s not just a story of sex.  Yes, there’s a lot of it.  But von Trier deals with metaphors that tie into Joes story as she shares with Seligman; fly fishing as it relates to human behavior and the mathematical concepts in tri-musical sequences to name a few in volume one; mythical, spiritual, and historical legends that deal with religion and society, and the major churches of the Catholic faith in this volume.  Joe & Seligman even mention the work of Ian Fleming (James Bond) and how his weapon of choice ties into the subconscious character decisions that Joe makes in the end.  In addition to the morality and acceptance within society of a pedophile.  All intertwined with beautiful, classical music which I absolutely LOVED, artistic camera angles and editing choices that made swift movements, to comprise a perfectly made “artsy” film experience that's extremely intellectual revealing its true engaging nature.  It's so much more than sex!  

It's a work of art!

Nymphomaniac - Vol. 2
Drama, 123 Minutes, Unrated
Written & Directed by: Lars von Trier
Cast: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgård, Stacy Martin, Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater, Jamie Bell, Mia Goth, & Willem Dafoe

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