It’s no secret that writer/director Lars von Trier has been in a bit of a slump lately. In 2009, he delivered the abhorrent Antichrist, a disgusting, gratuitous experience that could easily be called one of the worst films ever made. In 2011, he followed this up with the end-of-the-world drama Melancholia. It was a vast improvement but this time the film suffered from a detrimental lack of plot and pacing that practically brought it to a screeching halt. However, at the very least, it was beautiful to look at.
For Von Trier’s next project, he has opted to take on another film that is sure to be controversial, the two-part Nymphomaniac. From the title alone, you can imagine what we’re in for. Just in case you’re not familiar with the plot though, a very brief synopsis reads: “A self-diagnosed nymphomaniac recounts her erotic experiences to the man who saved her after a beating.”
Today, via The Playlist, we have a new batch of stills from the upcoming film, and don’t worry, they’re completely devoid of anything risqué. They’re essentially just random shots of the cast, which includes Willem Dafoe, Stellan Skarsgard, and Charlotte Gainsbourg. In short, they’re nothing particularly exciting, but then again, Von Trier probably wants to save the more shocking material for when one finally sees the film.
Nymphomaniac has already opened overseas and is surprisingly getting great reviews so far. Out of the eight reviews for Volume One on Rotten Tomatoes, all of them are positive. Here’s just a small sample of what’s been said thus far:
This smorgasbord of talk and sex constitutes a very full meal. – Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter
Racy subject aside, the film provides a good-humored yet serious-minded look at sexual self-liberation, thick with references to art, music, religion and literature .. – Peter Debruge, Variety
So much more than just a ribald tale of sex, von Trier’s erotic epic opens itself wide to all manner of penetrating interpretations. – Anton Bitel, Film4
Yes it is provocative, funny, smart, wry and challenging (though never sexy) but it is also a remarkable project brimming with bold and often thoughtful performances. – Mark Adams, Screen International
Could this be the film that gets Von Trier back in good form? We can only hope. It certainly can’t be as bad as Antichrist, right? If these reviews are to be believed, his sexual epic just might be one of the better films of this new year. Despite his recent failings, I believe I’ll remain cautiously optimistic.
Nymphomaniac: Volume One opens in theaters on March 21st and will be available On Demand starting on March 6th. Nymphomaniac: Volume Two opens in theaters on April 18th and will be available On Demand starting on April 3rd.
How do you feel about Von Trier’s upcoming erotic opus? Check out the images below and let us know in the comments!