Chris Hanna

Nymphomaniac train scene

Lars von Trier’s two-part, four-hour Nymphomaniac is more affective than the film’s title and marketing suggest and than I was expecting.

The film starts with Seligman (Stellan Skarsgard) finding a woman, battered and beaten, in an alleyway by his apartment. Her name is Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg), and he takes her inside for some tea. She tells Seligman she can tell him what happened to her if he’s really interested, but “I’ll have to tell you the whole story, and it’ll be long.” No kidding.

For the next four hours, Joe takes us and Seligman through the highs and lows (and there are loads of lows) of her life as a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac, from her relationship with her icy mother (Connie Nielsen), briefly, to the great love she had for her father (Christian Slater), to the time she discovered her “cunt,” to losing her virginity to an older boy from the…

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