Nymphomaniac: Volume II

2014

Nymphomaniac: Volume II

Critics Consensus

It doesn't quite live up to the promise of the first installment, but Nymphomaniac: Volume II still benefits from Lars von Trier's singular craft and vision, as well as a bravura performance from Charlotte Gainsbourg.

60%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 123

55%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,195
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Movie Info

NYMPHOMANIAC: VOLUME II picks up with the story of Joe's adulthood, where her journey of self-discovery leads to darker complications. (c) Magnolia

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Critic Reviews for Nymphomaniac: Volume II

All Critics (123) | Top Critics (30)

Audience Reviews for Nymphomaniac: Volume II

  • Apr 07, 2015
    Weaker than the tour-de-force origin story that was Volume 1, but still a worthy conclusion
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Mar 18, 2015
    With Volume II of Nymphomaniac, we learn a crucial part of one of the main storytelling elements: we learn that Seligman (Stellan Skarsgard), the man that Joe is telling her entire story to, the man who reflects with parallel stories/metaphors through the various books and folklore he's learned about, is in fact an asexual virgin. Hence, the reason he is the perfect man for Joe to tell her story to, since he won't look at it from a primal and sexual point of view, but rather a humanistic and unbiased one. This provided the clarity I needed to rid of the idea that Von Trier was pushing the metaphors on the viewer too directly. With that being said, Volume II is the much darker half of the story as Joe's addiction starts to take a toll on her physical and mental health. We are also introduced to a few new characters and situations that Joe puts herself through. To begin, she decides to have sex with an African man who doesn't speak English. He shows up with his brother, and things get awkward and made me extremely uncomfortable; which is exaclty what Von Trier was going for. Shortly after, Joe visits a man named K (Jamie Bell) who specializes in BDSM, and whips her in order for her to satiate her addiction. Aside from Joe herself, K is probably one of the most interesting characters of the story primarily because of how little we know about him; when she asks him what he gets out of it he tells her not to ask that question, and he clearly has some sort of personality disorder based on his awkward mannerims and "profession". This character is subtly brought to life thanks to a great performance by Jamie Bell, and every scene with him is hard to watch, but fascinating simultaneously. The things Joe sacrifices in order to fulfill her sexual needs are devastating, and make for great drama. The religious and mythological overtones presented by Seligman and Von Trier (which make more sense this time around) are extremely smart and particularly interesting. The ending is brutal, yet provides Joe with a good moral to her seemingly inhuman character, and we're finally given a small sliver of pity for her; just in time for Von Trier to slap us in the face in the very last scene, reflecting the very title the movie concludes, which is The Depression Trilogy. Nymphomaniac is a completely out of the ordinary, yet completely believable story, and Lars Von Trier is one of the only directors who could breathe life into a seemingly bleak and lifeless subject. It's artistic, distutrbing, fascinating, and intriguing storytelling.
    Kevin M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 15, 2015
    The conclusion to the film that was made solely to get porn fans in cinemas around the world, is no less off-putting than the first, but the progression of her character is a little more endearing to watch, as she spirals out of control and becomes worse than you could have ever expected. The performances and camerawork all seem on a level above the first for some reason, but the ending to this story is such a slap in the face that you feel like you wasted four hours of your life. That is not an exaggeration, because everything that is set up on the side throughout the two films has the rug pulled out from under them. "Nymphomaniac: Volume 2" is a film, like it's predecessor, that was made for one purpose only, and I do not even feel like it succeeds in that respect. With average dialogue, odd camerawork, and editing that is either purposely bizarre or just downright terrible, this film fails on every level of filmmaking, even though I liked the progression of the story until the end. This conclusion is not as bad as the first film, but it is nothing to talk about either. Both films are hard to watch, and not even worth your viewing regardless.
    KJ P Super Reviewer
  • Sep 03, 2014
    When last we left our intrepid perverts, Joe(Charlotte Gainsbourg) was regaling the hermetic Seligman(Stellan Skarsgard) with the time her vagina ceased to function in any meaningful way. That causes her(Stacy Martin) to be distracted on the all important birth control issue, leading her to unexpectably to get pregnant and have a child with her husband Jerome(Shia LaBeouf). That's not before Joe tells the story of her spontaneous orgasm and visions at the age of 12. The second half of Lars von Trier's film "Nymphomaniac" is not quite as heady as the first half, referencing James Bond who also has had more than his share of lovers.(Remember, just because men behave a certain way, does not mean it is positive behavior in any way. We men really make the worst role models.) But it is still recommended as it turns its thoughts towards spiritual matters, only ironic as the movie is also interested in what is natural and not, waiting until the end to settle the matter once and for all. Speaking of which, the movie does have more than its share of sex which could be considered disturbing, but only intentionally so and never meant to be sexy, and not just because some of it involves Shia LaBeouf.
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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