Nymphomaniac: Volume II Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 58 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 34
  2. Negative: 4 out of 34
  1. Reviewed by: Michelle Orange
    Apr 1, 2014
    Nymphomaniac is a jigsaw opus, an extended and generally exquisitely crafted riff. Story, theme, and character (despite Gainsbourg's captivations) bow to von Trier's gamesmanship, which makes his own promiscuities the film's true subject.
  2. Reviewed by: Xan Brooks
    Dec 17, 2013
    It is so laden with highly charged set pieces, so dappled with haunting ideas and bold flights of fancy that it finally achieves a kind of slow-burn transcendence.
  3. Reviewed by: Tim Robey
    Feb 20, 2014
    The point is that you could watch these films for four hours, then spend 14 arguing about them – about whether sex, for vor Trier, is an eternal human mystery, or a cosmic joke at our expense.
  4. Reviewed by: Ben Brock
    Mar 20, 2014
    If you thought Vol. I was a brilliant piece of provocation, then Vol. II might disappoint you with its detour into (relative) conventionality, its attacks on arthouse artificiality, and its apparently very different politics. But if you found Vol. I to be as silly as some did, then Vol. II suggests something interesting: Lars von Trier might agree.
  5. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Apr 4, 2014
    It all adds up to weave an engaging story, and not just for its wealth of titillations. Many of the sex scenes, in fact, feel more clinical than anything else.
  6. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Apr 3, 2014
    Even at its most depraved, Joe’s journey, and her confession to Seligman, are still compelling enough to propel Volume II until the story becomes hopelessly over-plotted.
  7. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Apr 3, 2014
    Here we go again. Danish director Lars von Trier has pumped out Nymphomaniac: Vol II just a few weeks after “Vol. I” came out. And the results are the same: zero stars.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 13
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 13
  3. Negative: 2 out of 13
  1. Apr 4, 2014
    Leaving us on the cusp of coming…to any real closure with our young protagonist Joe (Stacy Martin), von Trier throws quite the curve ball with his character and the overall story, allowing the narrative to take an unexpected turn. After five chapters in the life of Joe’s deranged and numb life, we continue into her sexual escapades as she becomes a woman, played by Charlotte Gainsbourg. Nymphomaniac: Volume II picks up exactly where Volume I left off, and doesn’t leave any sex or shock behind. Instead, Volume II is the overly stimulated, ultra aroused, and intellectually charged sexual explicit drama that Volume I never was.

    Although the film was never meant to be split into two parts, and von Trier intended the film to be his original five and a half hour long cut, Volume II is the complex and deep answer to a conventionally linear sexually charged character piece that was Volume I. Think of Nymphomaniac in the same way as you would Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill saga. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 is soaked with violence and bloodshed, making great use of the magic of movie spectacle and serving as a valiant homage to so many of the films Tarantino grew up with and loved.Kill Bill: Vol. 2, a film that infuses so many of the complex philosophies Tarantino has cherished, as well as surely inducting many of his own radical and absurd justifications without much violence, spectacle or gore, the film becomes a philosophical, witty and complex story with an understanding of his protagonist’s psyche and the reason behind her vengeance. Now picture Nymphomaniac: Volume II in the same way as Kill Bill: Vol. 2, but instead of violence, substitute it for graphic nudity and sexual acts (although it is not nearly as subtracted as the violence in Vol.2 of Kill Bill). So basically, the second film in von Trier’s carnal opus is a long-winded, understanding of Joe’s addiction and the ways in which she tries to subdue it, or if anything, control it.

    Volume II descends to the deep and dark corners of a woman who no longer finds simple penetrative intercourse pleasurable. When sex is not enough, what happens? If Joe is any indication of real world nymphomaniacs and the paths they follow in order to find pleasure, von Trier never prepares us for the unexpected directions Joe goes, desperately to find pleasure, at any cost.

    There is no doubting that Joe finds erotic pleasure in the most taboo places and scenarios. She purposely pulls the wires from her car to attract a large crowd of men, who she presumably goes back to have sex with as the camera pans out. She finds strangers on the street, specifically two black men, who so happen to be brothers, to penetrate her at the same time. The scene, which is a big production still that was used towards the marketing of the film, is less graphic and erotic than what you would imagine, and instead more hysterical as it unfolds, especially with the quarrels of the two men. In Joe’s last attempt to find pleasure with a **** that has failed her, Joe finds a man by the name of K (Jamie Bell), an expert in the brutal art of bondage/BDSM whom she finds stimulating through violence and pain. Her relationship is one that she sacrifices the most for as she becomes a woman and a business professional, compromising her health, the little family Joe has, and of course, the limits of her addiction. Volume II of the saga explores the ways in which people find meaning in their addictions without penetration, although they are overall, mostly naturally and habitually inclined to express themselves through intercourse.

    If you know anything about Lars von Trier, you would know that he is a man with many phobias. An intense fear of flying and various bouts of serious depression, the director is a man who implements so many of his phobias onto his characters, especially Nymphomaniac. Ironically enough, since his declaration to never be part of interviews or press conferences again since his last conference at Cannes accused him of loving Hitler and being a Satanist, Volume II has a lot of bottled up feelings the director has been dying to express–in controversial fashion.

    Throughout Joe’s narration of her life to Seligman (Skarsgård), he describes her actions to those of a man’s behaviour of sex. For the most part, Joe is always powerless to her men, especially in the scenes with K (Bell) who appropriately gives her the alias Fido, a name predominantly used for a dog. Joe is submissive and obedient to anything K says, including tying her to couches, chairs or asked to stand still, unflinching, regardless of the painful outcome. Although Joe seems to give all the power to her sexual partners, there is no denying the control she has over them, mentally persuading them to adhere to her requests.
  2. Apr 13, 2014
    Lars Von Trier! A name among the film world that is held in awe, in wonder and sometimes in pure outrage and disgust. I have not seen all his back catalogue (fellow film fans frequently tell me i must watch Dancer in the Dark) but from what i have seen i can tell Von Trier is a very passionate, creative film-maker who i don't think cares what people think of him. His self righteous, controversial views have over flowed into his films before. The Idiots and Dogville being utterly devoid of any redeeming features and just beyond me in terms of structure and thesis. Melancholia had decent performances but did labor and I always found Antic-Christ highly intriguing and quite creepy in places but i think Nymphomaniac is his most assured work to date.
    Divided into two volumes of roughly two hours each, the tormentingly titled Nymphomaniac tells the story of the troubled, bruised and stricken Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) as she describes it to soft philosopher Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård), who rescued her after finding her blacked out in an alley. The first part indulges Joe's childhood and youthful erotic experiences with charming, witty verve, before descending into darker, more painful territory in the second part as Joe's desires come up against the overpowering pressures and constraining necessities of adult nature.
    Listening to the stories throughout, and allowing occasional variations of his own, Seligman is the perfect confessor; a middle-aged virgin whose life has been lived through the words of others. Firstly, there are some incredibly controversial moments, but, coming after the relaxing of the way films are censored in the UK, are not as outrageous as one would imagine. Erections, genitalia close-ups and real sex have all lost their long held taboo milestone in the movies; although it is still only 'art house' films that tend to get away with them.The scene involving Uma Thurman as the aggrieved wife of one of Stacey Martin's character (the young Joe) lovers is probably where the film is at its weirdest but even this lends itself to the realities of a world far from Triers mind games. Stacey Martinis heavenly in her role and her learning curve is expertly handled and crafted.
    Supported by other intense, in turns courageous and uproarious performances, as well as a soundtrack that includes diverse stuff from Rammstein to Beethoven, in keeping with the film's free, candid spirit, Nymphomaniac is a stimulating tour de force that takes in the whole of the singular human experience, including the body and the mind, sex and love, art and life, and all of the complicated and wonderful connections between them. Overwhelming, energising and exhilarating, Nymphomaniac is a brave film made by a man with a generous lust for life in all its cruelty, eccentricity and outrageousness.
    The misogyny(that some people are suggesting) is misguided, i can show you many films more misogynistic than this. most 12a's these days have needless titillation in for a start. After all; this is seen though a woman's eyes and there is enough tenderness if you dig deep to counteract any feeling of hatred toward the films harsher moments.
    So much to take in, it is not for mainstream audiences but it has meaning behind it and with Shia Labeouf's chagrin and silly accent, Slater's dirty posterior among other moments of zaniness, its also viewed as a dark comedy. As the Americans might put it, maybe even Von Trier might describe it..It isn't a film that you can jerk off to(not that i tried). Its not as transparent as the explicit flesh that is on show would have you believe!
  3. Apr 4, 2014
    *NOTE: This is a review for Nymphomaniac as a whole; Volume I and II* Nymphomaniac is more than "sex epic"; it is an intelligent, gripping and a rather intense masterpiece made brilliant by great writing and fantastic acting - blending humour and shocking moments in equal measure, but also being a smart and engaging experience as well. It does have its flaws, albeit minor; Shia LaBeouf's strange "British" accent and some odd casting changes in Volume II. This film is definitely NOT for everyone due to its incredibly raunchily and controversial nature and some jaw-droppingly shocking moments and also its length which some may consider to be overlong. But the film is definitely worth a watch, and is worth to be analysed as well. Expand
  4. Apr 4, 2014
    This is undoubtedly more of a piece than the first film, but the two should be viewed in tandem and despite flaws are well worth sitting through even as a four hour plus marathon. Charlotte Gainsbourg takes over the central role from Stacy Martin and by now one has accepted the improbable scenario connecting chapters. This second part flows a lot better than the first and the screenplay touching on some really provocative themes, including race, paedophilia and gender in equality, is handled in an interesting and thought provoking manner. The ending ties things up effectively and somewhat surprisingly. Expand
  5. Apr 4, 2014
    Vastly superior to the first film, but I really hate the ending. Feels like a cop-out after 4 hours of sitting through this story. The benefit of part II is that you don't have to deal with Slater/Uma, who really sink the first part. And you get more Gainsbourg, who is awesome. Expand
  6. May 7, 2014
    As the story follows from the volume 1 my review too not much difference because to me, I watched these two parts as a narrow single story. I does liked it for many reasons and one of it was the soundtracks, so awesome. This installment was only slightly different in form of a story. It demonstrates the transformation of the character Joe, from what we had known her in the first.

    This movie with two volumes were the final movie of Lars Von Trier's 'depression' trilogy after 'Antichrist' and 'Melacholia'. An astonishing performance by Charlotte Gainsbourg in all the three movie. In fact Von Trier used her perfectly according to the script demanded. All these three movies will be her career best. In some of the scenes I could not believe it and said 'was she did it?'. Yes of course, but filmmakers has a different theory and says they used a body double in sensitive portion of the scenes with the little help of computer magic.

    It is an inappropriate movie for the few though well made movie if you consider it is a reality for those who are affected by nymphomania. The movie is available in two versions, explicit and softer edition. So I recommend the people are eager to watch this choose according to your need.

    I have already said almost everything in the volume 1 review that is why volume 2 review looks kind of pale. So you can go through that if you have not read yet. #Nymphomaniac: Volume 1 Review. Overall, this duology was one of the best among similar themes, especially who love adult movie with a clean merge of reasonable drama.
  7. May 10, 2014
    Un simple film pornographique du style Emmanuelle dont le but est de provoqué/déranger comme tout les film de ce réalisateur .
    Les "vrai"
    acteurs étant doublé par des acteurs pornographique pour les tres nombreuses scenes de sexes , autant allé voir directement un vrai film pornographique .
    Notons au passage , que les enfants de Charlotte Gainsbourg on été insulté/chahuté par leur camarade d'école et traumatisé à la sortie de ce film ....

See all 13 User Reviews