109 mins
Drama, Horror, Suspense/Thriller
This grueling 2009 psychodrama by Lars von Trier (Dogville, Breaking the Waves) is the sort of movie that dares you not to take it seriously—it's dedicated to the Soviet metaphysical filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, and the end credits cite research assistants in theology, mythology, misogyny, and the horror movie. If you're easily cowed by that sort of thing, then this is a masterpiece exposing the divide between human intellect (equated here with male oppression) and nature (defined as "Satan's church"); if you're not, then it's a grisly fuck fest with a library card. Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg are a couple whose toddler tumbles out a window to his death while they're boffing in the bathroom (a scene that transpires in slow-motion black and white to a moody string score). A professional shrink, Dafoe decides that Gainsbourg can overcome her crippling grief only by confronting her fear of the forest, so he takes her out to a remote cabin in the woods and all hell breaks loose. I can't deny this is filled with powerfully primal images, but at least one of them—an eviscerated fox that bellows at Dafoe, "Chaos reigns!"—made me burst out laughing.
Official Site:
Director: Lars von Trier
Writer: Lars von Trier
Producer: Meta Louise Foldager
Cast: Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg

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I appreciate and usually enjoy your reviews, but you kind of revealed a big part of the plot here. (Baby falling to it's death while couple boffs) For such a small blurb, spoiler tags don't seem too hard to implement. I've read reviews of the movie much longer than yours and none have mentioned the baby incident.

I've seen others call you out for revealing a District 9 plot point, and while they went overboard with their vulgar language, maybe they had a point.

Hopefully you can address this because I'd hate to have to stop reading your stuff.

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Posted by JC on 11/02/2009 at 1:31 PM
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