The constant sex scenes did nothing for me and the full nudity didn't bother me, after all what would one expect when the title of the film is Nymphomaniac Vol. I? We had read the reviews and heard an interview on NPR about the movie. It was described as different and sometimes humorous. And we often go see edgy indie films. Oft times the title is the teaser and the story more sublime, interesting, even heart warming.
I kept waiting for the story to take off, for the humor all the reviews talked about. I have patience with films. Sometimes it takes a while for it all to come together before the audience is captured with an "Oh Wow" moment and then follows along. This never happened. And we stayed until the end, which in retrospect was a mistake.
The main character Joe (played by Charlotte Gainsbourg) is a young lady who defines her identify by sexual escapades, as in sometimes ten or more a week. And has no desire to make a commitment. There are loose ends all over the story, flying in the wind. Stellan Skarsgard plays Seligman, the Englishman who has found her beaten, bruised, and bloody in an ally and brought her to his flat.
As she unravels her story, Seligman a fisherman starts relating it to fly fishing, with each part of her story being another fly he has tied for another purpose. But even this seems to go no where and ventures off to Edgar Allen Poe to be able to justify another of her stories.
There were two bright spots in the film. Not "bright" as in shining, but more as entertaining and well done. I'll give no spoiler alert because if you go see this film you are on your own. The first few minutes of the film are silent but the sound of rain as a symphony as it falls on roofs, tiles, and tins. Then you are blasted out of the silence by rock music.
The other interesting part involves a scene where the main character, Joe, find herself with a married lover she thought she had ended her relationship with who has shown up, bags in hand saying he has left his wife for her. Meanwhile Joe is waiting for her evening's date. In walks the former lover's psychotic wife and three young sons who have followed him there. The wife makes a big deal about seeing Joe and showing her sons the whoring bed, where "it all began". She tells them, something to the affect of - remember this boys when you are in therapy. Meanwhile as the wife is being irrational and insisting they all sit down for tea, Joe's date shows up. Needless to say he is clueless. If only the story was as exciting.
The movie bounces from the future showing a battered Joe with her face bruised, bloody, with a black eye back to her past and back again. And, at least in Volume I, you never learn what happened to put her in that state. I guess I'll never know because I can assure you I will not being wasting my time or money to see Volume II. Rarely, do I say this about a film.