Mainstream Spotlight: Nymphomaniac Vol. II

February 8, 2019 | Posted in Celebrity by tucker-bankshot

Less than a month after the first part of the sagaNymphomaniac Vol. II hit theaters and on demand with all the welcoming grace afforded a fart in church. Audiences now knew that von Trier hadn't turned a corner in his career, but had rather leaned in to the punishment. Vol. II is a more interesting film, but von Trier is still more concerned with shocking his audience into submission rather than telling a good story. You can catch up with the first part of this column by clicking here. Let's dive in, shall we?

First and foremost, this film is dead behind the eyes, and all the blustery, self-aggrandizing talk between Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård) and Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) does is further prove the point that metaphors are best left in the subtext and become drained of all meaning when spelled out for an audience. It's not just that the emperor is wearing no clothes, it's that at this point, he's not only aware of it, he's proud of that fact.

Taking off my critic's cap for a moment, though, let's take a look at the sex here. Stacy Martin is mostly sidelined this time around, disappearing around fifteen minutes in, but not before we get a quick penetrative sex scene with her and some other rando. The pan up makes me question whether or not this is cgi trickery, though I suppose a cgi dick could be in play here...

 

With Stacy Martin in the rearview, Charlotte Gainsbourg now turns up in flashbacks as Joe. Still devoid of any feeling in her lady parts, she seeks more and more adventurous sexual encounters, such as some classic DP with a pair of very well endowed brothers...

 

I hate these movies with the fire of a thousand suns, but I can't help but laugh at the way he shoots this particular scene, complete with the Arrested Development-esque zoom in on her face for emphasis...

 

Before long, Joe falls in with K (Jamie Bell), who specializes in a special brand of deviancy that might hold the key to Joe feeling something below the belt again. It's a very violent and abusive form of BDSM that involves him whipping her raw. During their first encounter, Jamie Bell uses the old finger test to make sure she's ready, or his hand double does, or it's cgi or whatever von Trier wants us to believe...

 

When her ex Jerôme (Shia LaBeouf) turns back up to find that Joe has left their son alone and unattended while she gets whipped to a bloody pulp by K. She tells him to take the son and she doesn't care if she ever sees them again. She soon takes a job as a debt collector, working for a rather unscrupulous boss (Willem Dafoe) who is pleased with her work, such as her ability to use sex to get debtors to pay up, or something. Stunt cock? You be the judge...

 

Her boss recommends she take an apprentice named P (Mia Goth), who reaches out to Joe's broken psyche by sexing her up like a member of Color Me Badd...

 

It turns out the whole thing was a ruse concocted by P and Jerôme to get back at her. They were the ones who left her for dead at the beginning of Vol. I. And what Lars von Trier sex spectacular wouldn't be complete without Mia Goth pissing on Charlotte Gainsbourg...

 

This is, of course, not even the worst thing to happen to her. After having relayed all of this to Skarsgård's Seligman, he then attempts to sexually assault her. She ends up killing him and escaping before that happens, but what's the moral here? No rest for the wicked? All men are evil? Humanity is doomed? It's probably all of that and none of that, which makes von Trier's 4-plus hour epic all the more disappointing. It has nothing definitive to say in the end other than life is suffering.

I suppose the film's most enduring legacy is that it has left serious doubt over whether there was actual sex or cgi trickery involved. I can see where an argument could be mounted for cgi, but it's frankly not that good yet. If this is the work of cgi, it's among the best I've ever seen. Way better than Avatar.

What do you guys think? Is Lars von Trier really light years ahead of James Cameron in realistic cgi or is he just lying? Do you care? Would you want to know the truth? What makes it sexier? Sound off in the comments section below!

Tagged in: cgi , charlotte gainsbourg , double penetration , fingering , lars von trier , lesbian , mia goth , nymphomaniac , nymphomaniac vol. 2 , penetration , real sex , stacy martin ,

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