This four-hour epic chronicles the life of Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg and Stacy Martin) from her childhood to her self-proclaimed realisation as a nymphomaniac; a status that causes her both joy and hurt.
Told in eight chapters, the episodic nature allows for breaths in what is a very intense and traumatic cinematic experience. Simultaneously disgusting and compelling, Lars Von Trier explores the affliction of sex addiction from a surprisingly empathic and feminist perspective.
Although highly pornographic, the sex is neither erotic nor salacious, only natural; and never to the detriment of plot. Extreme close-ups of genitalia are artfully treated so that they become mesmerising, even beautiful. What the audience is left with is a highly meaningful and genuine film. (ATS)