Nymphomaniac: Volume I

2014

Nymphomaniac: Volume I

Critics Consensus

Darkly funny, fearlessly bold, and thoroughly indulgent, Nymphomaniac finds Lars von Trier provoking viewers with customary abandon.

76%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 197

69%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 14,926
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Nymphomaniac: Volume I Photos

Movie Info

NYMPHOMANIAC: VOLUME I is the story of Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg), a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac who is discovered badly beaten in an alley by an older bachelor, Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård), who takes her into his home. As he tends to her wounds, she recounts the erotic story of her adolescence and young-adulthood (portrayed in flashback by newcomer Stacy Martin). (c) Magnolia

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Cast

Shia LaBeouf
as Jerôme
Stacy Martin
as Young Joe
Christian Slater
as Joe's Father
Connie Nielsen
as Joe's Mother
Jean-Marc Barr
as Debtor gentleman
Udo Kier
as Waiter
Michaël Pas
as Old Jerôme
Ronja Rissmann
as Joe, 2 Years
Maja Arsovic
as Joe, 7 Years
Ananya Berg
as Joe, 10 Years
Sofie Kasten
as B, 7 Years
James Northcote
as Young lad 1 On Train
Charlie Hawkins
as Young Lad 2 On Train
Clayton Nemrow
as Married Man on Train
Simon Boer
as Man Uninterested
Jeff Burrell
as Man on Train 1
Andreas Grotzinger
as Man on Train 2
Thomas Sinclair Spencer
as Conductor on Train
Jesse Inman
as Man A Having Sex
Christoph Schechinger
as Man B Having Sex
David Halina
as Man C Having Sex
Jonas Baeck
as Man D Having Sex
Katharina Hubertus
as Joe's Girlfriend, 18 Years
Inga Behring
as Joe's Girlfriend, 18 Years
Lisa Matschke
as Joe's Girlfriend, 18 Years
Jesper Christensen
as Jerôme's Uncle
Frankie Dawson
as H's Boy 1
George Dawson
as H's Boy 2
Harry Dawson
as H's Boy 3
Markus Tomczyk
as Young Man in Hospital
Christoph Jöde
as Man in Window
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Critic Reviews for Nymphomaniac: Volume I

All Critics (197) | Top Critics (46)

Audience Reviews for Nymphomaniac: Volume I

  • Apr 07, 2015
    Nobody can say von Trier doesn't make interesting films.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Mar 17, 2015
    Lars Von Trier is one of the most artistic and fascinating filmmakers in recent memory. His "Depression Trilogy" ends here, with Nymphomaniac, an enormous four-hour movie (being divied into two parts) filled with profound and graphic sex scenes (I lost track of how many there were). We're shown various shots of both male and female genitalia, and artsy and metaphorical stories that intertwine. Charlotte Gainsbourg plays the adult "nymphomaniac", Joe, and Stacy Martin plays the younger Joe, both of whom give solid performances. Shia LaBeouf plays Joe's first love, and he plays an interesting character; perhaps the most interesting Joe has come across in her campaign of addictive sex. The parallel stories presented by Seligman (Stellan Skarsgard) and Joe's matching metaphorical experiences is interesting, yet at the same time they feel a little forced. Rather than relying on symbolic imagery, Von Trier chooses to be as blunt as possible about it, through direct dialogue. It's not a bad choice, because it made it a little easier for me to understand, yet it might have been more bold of a choice for Von Trier to find a way to portray the metaphors he presents without being so up-front about them. All-in-all, Part 1 of Nymphomaniac took me by surprise with how graphic and daring the sex scenes were, making it a memorable and intriguing piece of cinema.
    Kevin M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 15, 2015
    "Nymphomaniac: Volume 1" is not for everyone, in fact, I am shocked some of the material explored throughout this film even passed the MPAA during pre-production. This film sets up an interesting character, even though the off-putting Cinematography and editing style really take you out of the film. If you do not buy into her life as a sex-addict and how she became one, you may begin to grow a strong hatred toward this film and that is exactly what happened to me. I felt this film as more of an unintentional comedy, playing on the porn genre more than anything else, and I enjoyed some moments for that reason, but that was not the intention. Overall, this is a film made for excess and to make an audience "Awe" at the screen. I was not fooled into that and was just more disgusted at how a feature film was allowed to be made with this content in it. "Nymphomaniac: Volume 1" sets up the sequel to conclude her story, and quite frankly, it is not even an interesting cliffhanger. Unless you like Lars Von Trier's style, you will not find much to enjoy about this film.
    KJ P Super Reviewer
  • Aug 22, 2014
    If you can only see one half of the Lars von Trier two part film "Nymphomaniac" than please let it be this one. The film is narrated by Charlotte Gainsbourg as an older version of our lead character, Joe, who is a self-described nymphomaniac. While I believe some of the story is very eye opening into the qualms of sex addiction, I do not recommend this as an educational tool. The story follows a woman who is possessed by her urges, but also wants to define herself by them, which makes her adventures misanthropic and dangerous to an outside observer. The beginning half examines Joe's childhood and her young life. She feels the disappointment of young adulthood, the ecstasy of her sexual awakening, the throes of love, and all its machinations. She tells all of these dirty provocations to an empathetic observer played by Stellan Skargaard, who heals her after finding her bloodied body in an alleyway. There's something very endearing about this relationship, but also you wonder about his motivations. The story follows Joe's life all the way into her early thirties, with an excellent performance from Stacy Martin. There are very real depictions of sex, all done by porn doubles and prosthetics, but it isn't shown to be erotic, and more so to be truthful to the protagonist. There is some glamorization of the act, but also an implicit juxtaposition between pleasure as a construct and showing it as an emotional need. Joe also sees sex as an expression of love, but when confronted with her feelings they're often numbed by her own self-hatred. Shia LaBeouf also appears as her girlhood crush and love interest, Jerome. LaBeouf is as wooden and unfeeling as I have ever seen him, and his casting in this film is all but baffling. That and his atrocious and very fake English accent all but seal his fate as the worst actor with the worst performance in this entire film. His character is definitely off-putting, as is he, so perhaps casting such an arrogant sod to play an arrogant sod wasn't the worst choice. Gainsbourg's articulate narration provides an upsetting tone for the rest of the film, as her quiet and nuanced performance clashes with the errant eroticism seen onscreen. This film proves to be more eye opening and upsetting than the one that precedes it, possibly because the first is more focused on its story and tries to show entwined relationships. This is a powerful and frustratingly real first section in this two part film.
    Spencer S Super Reviewer

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