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Movie Review: Nymphomaniac

Nymphomaniac 04 photo by Christian Geisnaes“I’m sorry your stepmother is a nympho.”

-Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski

Nymphomaniac, also known as 2001: A Sex Odyssey, is Lars von Trier’s ambitious sex epic. Yes, this film is about sex. And there is a lot of it and it is about as graphic as you could imagine.

Nymphomaniac once pushed well beyond the five hour mark. Then, it was split in half and cut a little more for both time and explicitness. I am not sure if the version I saw is butchered or exactly what Lars von Trier wanted within the limitations of reality.

There has been a lot of debate about how to review this film. Some say that it is okay to review both parts as separate films, while others think that both parts of Nymphomaniac must be reviewed as one. At first, I thought it would be fine to review both parts separately. But then, I watched them both and realized that while they were different in some ways, one half could not function without the other. Sure, Kill Bill could do it. However, the difference between Nymphomaniac and Kill Bill is that the ending of volume one of Nymphomaniac does not feel like a free-standing conclusion; it feels like a story that is approaching a midpoint. This saga can be seen in two parts, but it was probably not made with that possibility in mind.

However, middle ground is my middle name, and I would like to try both approaches of reviewing Nymphomaniac. Brace yourselves for my review of Nymphomaniac, a review written in three parts:

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