Mea Vulva Mea Maxima Vulva ...

Nymphomaniac: Volume 1 (2014)
A Review By Ben Hunter
5 Out Of 5 Stars


If you can handle the enormous amounts of the character of sex, artistically and tastefully done, go see it!  

During the whole ... of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view ... of the melancholy ... House ... of Usher.”  -Edgar Allen Poe

Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård), on the eve of an exceptional experience, finds himself within view of and soon discovers the dark construes of Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg). 

A nymphomaniac is one who needs more from life and seeks to fill the void through sex.  Joe would agree, but she sees one, herself, as the sum of all sexual experiences they encounter, so there’s only one lover in life.  Thus ensues the emotional journey she entails and delegates Seligman to hear, who willfully agrees.

Director Lars von Trier (Antichrist, Dogville, Melancholia) artistically guides the liberal and challenges the conservative with his latest artistic creation, Nymphomaniac.  It’s very artsy, that’s basically what one should remember when experiencing this.  That will help the opposition who only witness and feel like they could ever witness the intense sexual encounters taking place on screen when experiencing von Trier’s latest endeavor.  “Oh it’s an artsy flick, yeah those films are like that.”

It’s a beautifully told story both from the outside as we the audience witness it and from the one within as Gainsbourg’s character tells her story of woe.  It becomes a debate about the beauty of life and how we can choose to see the joy in life even in our struggles. 

Stacy Martin & Shia LaBeouf in Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac - Volume 1

Joe is confronted with the fact that the secret ingredient to sex is love.  This is during the coming of age movement Joe experiences while joining a feminist movement against love; where they chant the Latin phrase, “Mea Vulva Mea Maxima Vulva …” (may-uh vulva ...) basically “I am woman hear me roar” for a G-Rated explanation to help ease its ferocity towards Catholics.

I thought the beautiful and talented Stacy Martin brilliantly portrayed young Joe.  I found her innocent yet not so innocent portrayal of a young adolescent trying to find herself very intriguing, another career I wish nothing but happiness and joy for.  She and the film have aided in opening me up to my creative, spiritual, and artistic side; much joy and love to von Trier, Martin, and the like minded creations for the inspiration given. 

Nymph doesn’t give Steve McQueen’s Shame (2011) a run for its money as far as sex on screen, rightfully so, I think von Trier artistically, beautifully, and tastefully incorporated as much of it as he needed to, to convey the message.  But it’s still quite a bit for the common person, so prepare yourself and enjoy an artsy yet not too over the top of an experience!  Uma Thurman will knock your socks off! … Not like that. 

Nymphomaniac - Vol. 1
Drama, 118 Minutes, Unrated
Written & Directed by: Lars von Trier
Cast: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgård, Stacy Martin, Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater, Uma Thurman, & Connie Nielsen 

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