October 28th, 2014

NYMPHOMANIAC VOL. 2 (2014) ***

Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) continues describing her various sexual adventures to Seligman (Stellan Skarsgard). She tells him how in the midst of her hedonistic sexual frenzy; she lost the ability to orgasm. Because of the loss of sexual sensation, she plunges into a deeper, darker path of self-destruction, and even turns to a life of crime.

Nymphomaniac Vol. 2 isn’t as flamboyant or exhilarating as the first half, but it remains an absorbing experience nevertheless. It’s a bit more depressing as Joe leaves her family to freely live the life of a slut (and on Christmas no less), although it’s still quite fascinating. Despite a somewhat bleaker tone, this Volume still has a number of lighter moments. There’s a great scene in which the younger Joe puts a bunch of spoons up her cooch. There’s also a pretty funny scene where she gets two black guys to bang her. When they get into an argument about who gets which hole, she leaves in a huff.

The chapters are hit and miss this time around, and the scenes of Joe embarking on a criminal career aren’t nearly as interesting as all the sex stuff. It also kind of peters out by the end, and the final scene is a bit underwhelming. However, the film remains compelling throughout, thanks mostly to the incredible cast.

Gainsbourg once again gives a strong performance, as does Skarsgard. The supporting cast is really strong too. Jamie Bell is great as an S & M master who beats Joe with a glove full of quarters. Udo Kier is awesome in a bit part as a snooty waiter, and Willem Dafoe is appropriately menacing as Gainsbourg’s loan shark boss.