Charlotte Gainsbourg in Nymphomaniac: Vol II.

A couple of weeks ago, I explained how much I hated the latest from Lars von Trier, his awful Nymphomaniac: Vol. I. As much as I hated it, I hoped that Vol. II, released just after the first film, might improve upon the first part and allow the whole mess to make sense.


This one picks up where the first film left off—and it’s actually more tedious than the previous chapter. Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) continues telling her story to the man who found her bloody body in an alley (Stellan Skarsgård)—a sordid tale about her crazy sex life and criminal activity.

The whole story basically leads up to the moment when Joe wound up in the gutter. Along the way in Vol. II, we discover that she had a baby, and she become a debt collector for a crime boss (Willem Dafoe) using S&M techniques instead of breaking arms. It is all so … incredibly … lame.

Both films play out like long, unfunny jokes told by a jerk with a lousy sense of humor. The punch line is both crass and uninspired.

Seriously: I want von Trier to retreat from provocation in his next venture, and perhaps make a film about puppies and ice cream.

Nymphomaniac: Vol. II is now playing at the Cinémas Palme d’Or (72840 Highway 111, Palm Desert; 760-779-0430).