Nymphomaniac: Vol. I

Mesmerizing, compelling and purely entertaining

Lars von Trier cuts back on the stylistic excesses to tell (the first half of) this character-based story of a self-diagnosed sex addict named Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stacy Martin in flashbacks) who is discovered beaten and bleeding in an alley by Good Samaritan Stellan Skarsgård. They talk. Graphic? Yes. Pornographic? Some have called it so. Titillating? Not at all. Uncharacteristically, there’s a good bit of humor here. Uma Thurman is a show-stopper as the wife of one of the men whose lives Joe has ruined. Mesmerizing, compelling and purely entertaining. I’m seduced. Vol. II coming 10/31. (118 min)