OnJummu’s review published on Letterboxd:
Let’s assume that you had a desire — a curiosity, if you will —that arrived to you at an age too early. A curiosity that introduced you to the pleasure of sex and, generally, a sexual-driven nature. Over the years, the pleasure of sex gets out of control and the act alone becomes an addiction for you. You only wanted to fuck and/or be fucked; but it’s grown to be something more to you. The protagonist’s sexual misadventures would be appalling to the general public. She’d be a whore. A slut. I wouldn’t beg to differ on the statement. Even though she’s human, it’s instantly and subconsciously wrong, socially unacceptable, and/or immoral. But the compelling storyline on her very personal struggle could quite possibly make me think otherwise. After all, her story isn’t over yet right now as I speak.
“Perhaps the only difference between me and other people is that I’ve always demanded more from the sunset. More spectacular colors when the sun hit the horizon. That’s perhaps my only sin.”
Let me cut right through the case here — I’m not in love with this film. Not at the very least. The editing was distracting and as were a bunch of the characters’ accents. But I’d be lying if I didn’t think this was a great film. I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t think this film was a brutal, intimate, weirdly riveting and beautifully depressing look at a true, heartless outlook on life. Extreme, intrusive, and kind of sickening, yes, but it’s much more than that — I think it’s profound. For the most part, both volumes are heavily divisive amongst two separate crowds: one who thinks it’s “beautiful” and “deep” and “philosophical”, and one who thinks it’s “boring”, “pretentious”, and “just porn/exploitation”. If there’s one thing we all actually agree on is that Uma Thurman’s scene is five stars in itself, so let’s get that out of the way. I wouldn’t argue with someone for thinking it’s boring or pretentious (I hate the use of that word, it’s irritating), but it’s not just porn. Not the PornHub type, anyway.
Pornography is normalized in the sense that it’s
socially acceptable across most countries. It’s the blurred line between pornography and pornographic imagery that many people don’t differentiate. Nymphomaniac Vol. I - II doesn’t display the sex graphically for the sake of establishing a reputation for being explicit; in other words, this film isn’t just porn for the sake of being porn. Rather, it’s a toolbox to create meaning. Ironically, think of it as having sex: Are you fucking? Or are you making love? Are you physically engaging with someone else for sexual satisfaction only, or are you doing so because you love the individual as well?