The movie started out very promising with a sound segment that was followed by a scene reminiscent of David Lynch, and finished with a signature Lynchian shot of moving into an enclosed, dark, space. The scenes in the apartment with the virgin man, Seligman, reminded me of paintings by Edward Hopper - austere, yet beautiful, quiet desperation.
In Vol.1, I loved the marriage/separation/interrogation scene. Bringing humor and absurdity to something so dramatic and life-changing is a talent that very few directors possess. The performance of the actor’s ensemble was great and I especially loved Uma Thurman's performance.
The other "scene" that stood out for me was the "cock" symphony. I call it a scene but it's just a collection of images of the most "sacred" male part - the genitalia. I call it "sacred" because the penis is continuously omitted from films, especially in the USA. As a man without boundaries, Von Trier takes that taboo and shatters it to pieces throughout both volumes.
This idea continues in the sex scene with the two black men in Vol.2. Expecting hardcore brutal visuals, I couldn't help but smile throughout the scene. Superbly directed, this sexual "dream" that is brimming with anticipation by male power and force, is turned into the funniest sex menage a trois that I have ever seen.
The ending of the film was not only logical, but expected.
Working with Charlotte Gainsbourg for the 3rd time, Lars Von Trier has found his perfect actress. It seems she is the only one with the patience and talent to portray the continuous "abuse" his female characters encounter. But in this film we have another female that is taking the "leash." Stacy Martin, is very brave, beautiful and haunting in her sexual prowess. Her daring performance is eerie in its effortlessness.
In the film Jo searches to find the source of her sexuality. The journey goes from mischievous to increasingly dangerous. Her odyssey ends as a sexual castaway accepting her "curse." She doesn't know where her desires and perversions come from and I don't think she discovers the source. But what we find is how men think. Mistaking friendship for attraction, Seligman finds his place in the world.
2.5 / 5
Director: Lars von Trier
Staring: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Shia LeBeouf, Stellan Skarsgard, Stacy Martin