It might be premature to call Nymphomaniac a hit with critics, but it's getting the job done so far.
The early reviews for Lars Von Trier's two-part, four-hour sexual epic film have surfaced, and, well, don't be surprised if you start hearing someone tell you they want it von Trier-style. According to reports, movie-watchers are bound to be satisfied by Shia LaBeouf's latest flick, which tells the account of a very active woman's sexual life. The film also stars Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard, Stacy Martin, Christian Slater, Jamie Bell, Uma Thurman, Willem Dafoe and Mia Goth.
Unfortunately, you won't be able to enjoy this climactic experience for a while. Part 1 opens in U.S. theaters on March 21 and Part 2 releases on April 18.
Until then, check out what the critics had to say...
• "Still, it's hard to imagine that there's any issue other than the sheer unmanageability of the director's ultra-long cut for theatrical purposes and censorship issues that might have arisen in some territories from a more predominantly hard-core version. There is no sense of material missing or stories foreshortened, and the cutting style and use of music are unmistakably those of the filmmaker. Nor does one go away hungry; this smorgasbord of talk and sex constitutes a very full meal."—Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
• "Racy subject aside, the film provides a good-humored yet serious-minded look at sexual self-liberation, thick with references to art, music, religion and literature, even as it pushes the envelope with footage of acts previously relegated to the sphere of pornography."—Peter Debruge, Variety
• "Hang on to your seat back, your Bible, or the hand of a friend. Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac bludgeons the body and tenderises the soul. It is perplexing, preposterous and utterly fascinating; a false bill of goods in that it's a film about sex that is deliberately unsexy and a long, garrulous story (two volumes, four hours) that largely talks to itself."—Xan Brooks, The Guardian
• "After two earlier films with von Trier, Antichrist and Melancholia, this third collaboration represents Charlotte Gainsbourg's most fearless and also finest hour as she carries the film with ease. To say her character isn't easy to love would be an understatement, but Gainsbourg manages to turn Joe into more than just a mouthpiece of von Trier's ideas."—Boyd van Hoeij, Indie Wire
• "There's plenty of flesh (much of it belonging to porn doubles), although the film is rarely, if ever, what most people would call erotic or pornographic. It's neither deeply serious nor totally insincere; hovering somewhere between the two, it creates its own mesmerising power by floating above specifics of time and place, undercutting its main focus with bizarre digressions (fly-fishing, maths, religion), a ragbag of acting styles and archive footage. There's humour too, not least when the wife (Uma Thurman) of one of Joe's lovers turns up at Joe's flat with her three young kids in tow. Enormous penises flash across the screen; tragedy sits next to comedy. It feels like an X-rated farce, a circus of genitalia."—Dave Calhoun, Time Out London