Hitting theaters in the States this Friday (March 21) is the first part of Lars von Trier’s “Nymphomaniac.” This is an approximately two hour movie with a two hour second part following in a few weeks. The very subject of the film, as given away in the title, could easily cause one to pause. It certainly is a sexual explicit movie, and has generated some controversy due to its graphic nature.
Not everyone in the film, however, sheds their clothes. Instead, some of the actors offer up raw, unadulterated emotion. For her part, Uma Thurman gets to do a full character arc over the course of one scene. As she puts it in my interview with her, “It is a singular scene expressing an entire moment of someone’s life.” It is a truly impressive performance, and does indeed run a gamut of emotions.
Thurman is very up front in the interview that she wanted to work with the director since she first saw one of his films. This particular role has the added attraction that, even if she isn't in every scene, it has such a full character arc. She equates the experience of her role in the movie to doing a play, “I was doing 20, 25 minute full-bodied scenes… without an interruption.”
In the interview, I do also ask her about the controversy surrounding the movie, and her response that is quite clear, “I think that if there wasn’t controversy about the film then Lars von Trier wouldn’t have succeeded in making the movie he wanted to make.” She also delves a little into his approach to the movie and why it is different than what has come before. It is a smart way of looking at it, and Thurman sums it all up with the statement, “It’s far out. It’s not your average movie.”
That, too, is very true.