At year’s end, the now-sober Danish provocateur wants to make sure you don’t forget his pièce de résistance, “Nymphomaniac.” This wildly uninhibited psychosexual odyssey is the gift that keeps on giving, now on ten best lists from Cahiers and unsurprisingly John Waters as von Trier drops yet another major (publicity?) bomb.
Now vying for European Film Awards, “Nymphomaniac” divided critics throughout its festival run and two-part theatrical debut earlier this year. As a spring 2014, it seems likely to be lost in the whirl of awards season madness, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see Uma Thurman’s demented scorned woman snag a critics’ prize or two. (Spoiler alert: “Nymphomaniac” will be on more than one TOH! ten best list.)
Von Trier is once again courting controversy after revealing in a Danish publication that he has undergone treatment for drug and alcohol abuse, and that “Nymphomaniac” was the first film he wrote fully sober — and it took him a year and a half. “Dogville” was apparently written in a 12-day drug binge. (Looking back, “Antichrist” was not the work of a sober man, who at the time was severely and tragically depressed.) He fears that in the wake of his very public “Melancholia”-era recalcitrance, and his sobriety, that he won’t be able to make another movie. His serial TV effort, “The House That Jack Built,” is still in the kiln however.
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While the original bifurcated — though hardly coy — Volumes I and II of “Nymphomaniac” are already streaming on Netflix, the great Dane’s five-and-a-half-hour director’s cut is now available on paid VOD platforms including iTunes and Amazon. Our review of Volume I is here; Volume II here.