Please see here for my Nymphomaniac Part 1 review.
So I’ll keep this review fairly quick since this is essentially one film split into two parts, and I’ve already given my thoughts on the first, which I enjoyed for the most part (enjoyed might be the wrong word, but I thought it was good). The reason I wanted to be sure to review both was that I have far different views of the second installment.
The troubled Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) conveys the rest of her story to Seligman (Stellan Skarsgard), which includes the details of her sex addiction a little later in life and how it really began to drive her down the darkest roads yet.
As I mentioned in the first part of the review, this is a Lars Von Tier film, and that means it will pull no punches. In some cases, that is the biggest strength of his films. They shock you and disgust you in ways that make you feel the experience like no other. They drive home their point. For the most part, Von Trier’s portrayal of some degrading and obscene sexual experiences, in full and gritty detail was effective in Part 1, and was supplemented by some genuinely meaningful and emotional content. I was surprised to be honest.
However, my surprise in Part 1, led me to have high expectations for the concluding half of the film, and unfortunately these expectations were not met. Early on in the second part, I could tell that Von Trier was ramping up the disgust. I was feeling a lot more repulsed as I watched, and I could see that he wanted us to feel Joe’s descent into darkness. Great. It makes sense. The trouble is, as the overly long second part of the film goes on, it begins not to.
Nymphomaniac Part 2 was quite frankly boring. It was boring, and it went on way to long. It seemed like most of the meaningful content was crammed into the first one, and the second one was just a playground for Von Trier to make us feel a little ill and disgusted, whole he gets to his point (a point which I feel that he butchered, in a truly Hollywood way that was unlike him, but no spoilers here). There was just very little substance here. The whole side story with Jamie Bell’s character was alright, but it was repeated and took up so much screen time to make a simple point. I almost feel like the second part should have been condensed into about 35-40 minutes and tacked onto the first film, to just have one long movie.
The acting itself was superb, as it was in the first and the cast are not to blame for what I felt were the film’s faults. I think it is simply Von Trier getting a little self indulgent to be honest, and unfortunately spoiling what I thought was a surprisingly good film.
Nymphomaniac Part 2 was a disappointing second installment that was overly long, dull and didn’t do as good of a job of making it’s point as I’m sure Von Trier thinks it did. Still, a decent movie.