‘Nymph()maniac: Vol. 2’, pain and pleasure

Charlotte Gainsbourg and Jamie Bell in “Nymph()maniac: Vol. II.”
Charlotte Gainsbourg and Jamie Bell in “Nymph()maniac: Vol. II.”Christian Geisnae/Magnolia Pictures

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Nymph()maniac: Vol. II

Lars Von Trier’s “Nymph()maniac” was made as one movie and, despite its maker’s later decision to serve it up in two parts, was surely meant to be seen as one movie. Someday, on DVD or in whatever holo-chamber we’ll be experiencing our media, that’s how audiences will come to it: as a four-hour exploration of where listening only to your body’s desires takes you. Since this is Von Trier, that’s mostly down.

“Nymph()maniac: Vol. II” arrives in theaters today after an on-demand run and shortly upon the heels of “Vol. I”; it takes up the story of Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) as she passes from youth (where she’s still played by Stacy Martin for a few scenes) into a randy and increasingly distraught adulthood. The first film ended with Joe’s marriage to Jerome (Shia LaBeouf) and subsequent discovery that she had lost all sexual sensation. The new film concerns her increasingly frenzied attempts to get it back.

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