Feature

Nymphomaniac

A promiscuous woman details her sexual adventures.

Directed by Lars von Trier(Not rated)

***

Let the arguments begin about this sexually graphic and “bounteously clever” film, said Tim Robey in The Daily Telegraph (U.K.). A story about sex addiction that runs in two parts across four hours, it’ll leave viewers fighting over whether bad-boy director Lars von Trier thinks sex is an eternal mystery or a cosmic joke spun at our expense. Charlotte Gainsbourg stars as the title character, a woman named Joe who recounts her adventurous sexual history to explain how she ended up in an alley bloodied and bruised. It’s an intriguing character study, said Amy Nicholson in LA Weekly, though the sex isn’t erotic, and Joe never explains why she has sex with up to 10 men a day, other than her “cynical line that love is ‘just lust with jealousy added.’” The film is rich with novelistic detail, but Joe herself remains a one-dimensional cipher, said Todd McCarthy in The Hollywood Reporter. In his provocative but labored attempt to answer Freud’s question, “What does a woman want?” von Trier has created a woman with no apparent goals or interests beyond endless sexual encounters.

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