With a cast and crew packed with A-list talent, this film seems like it should be a first-rate thriller. But a deeply compromised screenplay lets it down badly, leaving the actors floundering as people who make little logical sense. Meanwhile, the mystery develops in directions that aren't remotely interesting, leaving the entire movie feeling flat. At least it's beautifully photographed in stunning Norwegian scenery.
It opens in Oslo, as detective Harry (Michael Fassbender) struggles both with debilitating alcoholism and trying to be a father to his teen son with ex-girlfriend Rakel (Charlotte Gainsbourg), who is now married to plastic surgeon Mathias (Jonas Karlsson). When he's able to work, Harry is looking into missing women cases with his rookie partner Katrine (Rebecca Ferguson). And several of these disappearances seem to be connected in some way, linking back to a murder years ago in Bergen that was investigated by two local cops (Val Kilmer and Toby Jones) and was somehow connected to a leery property developer (J.K. Simmons) who is now trying to lure a winter sporting championship to Oslo.
Continue reading: The Snowman Review
Harry Hole is an experienced detective who comes across one of the strangest murder cases he's ever seen. A man calling himself the Snowman Killer is killing women, and he and his team need to work out his motive in order to catch him. The clues are in the extent of the mutilations and the appearance of one of the victims' pink scarf, but they'll need more than that to beat this crazed psychopath at his own game. As winter continues to breathe its icy breath, the hunt gets more and more challenging. But when they manage to connect the killings to an old cold case, they decide to lure him out using a new recruit as bait.
Continue: The Snowman Trailer
Some very big themes are given space to breathe in this remarkably naturalistic drama, which is livened up by terrific central performances from Omar Sy and Charlotte Gainsbourg. Instead of heavy-handed commentary on workplace burnout and immigration, the film is packed with sharp humour, engaging characters and situations that are never quite what they seem to be. At two hours, it feels a bit overlong, but the relationships are so involving that we don't mind too much.
Sy plays the title character Samba, an immigrant from Senegal to France who has just been promoted to a job as a restaurant chef. But his resident visa is suddenly in jeopardy, so he consults charity lawyer Manu (Izia Higelin), who can't find much reason to be hopeful. Manu's assistant is Alice (Gainsbourg), a volunteer taking time off after a breakdown, and she has a strong spark of attraction with the charismatic Samba, even though she knows she shouldn't get personally involved. When Samba is ordered to leave France, he goes into hiding with his Uncle Lamouna (Youngar Fall), using his uncle's legal identity to get construction work alongside the fast-talking Brazilian Wilson (Tahar Rahim). And Samba also secretly keeps in touch with Alice.
Essentially a romance, the love story blossoms slowly and realistically. Samba and Alice may have been immediately attracted to each other, but everything is working against them, and navigating the social structures is tricky. In one clever scene, both the legal workers and the migrants attend a party together, trying to overcome the official barriers between them. But Samba is such a charmer that Alice can't resist him. Indeed, Sy lights up the screen with his expressive face, even upstaging the charismatic, cheeky Rahim, who gives one of his most physically kinetic performances. As always, Gainsbourg is quietly superb as the thoughtful Alice, a woman who knows she needs to get her own life back but is afraid to take the plunge.
Continue reading: Samba Review
Producer Emile Haynie teams up with Andrew Wyatt, Lana Del Rey, Brian Wilson and others.
Grammy winning record producer Emile Haynie makes a career turning point by unleashing his first album as a recording artist, 'We Fall', complete with collaborations with some of the biggest talent in the music industry today. But who exactly is he?
Emile Haynie releases debut album 'We Fall'
His name will be doubtlessly familiar to those fans of the rap world, having began his career in hip hop, but now he's set to make waves as a songwriter, enlisting some of the greatest vocalists and performers to work with him on his first release; an impressive feat for someone who started out working in a home studio in New York before dropping out of school. Luckily, it wasn't long before his work was picked up by Proof from D-12, who introduced him to Eminem, and the rest is history. He won a Grammy after producing Eminem's album 'Recovery', went on to discover Kid Cudi and worked with some of the world's greatest rappers including Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg to name but a few.
Continue reading: Who Is Emile Haynie? New Album 'We Fall' Features Some Impressive Guests
Lars von Trier's new film has been a rumour-fest since it first began production, we take a look at the mythological development of the controversial 'Nymphomaniac'.
Lars Von Trier’s latest film Nymphomaniac has been getting everyone hot under the collar since before any actual filming even began. Written and directed by the controversial von Trier, who is renowned for his avant-garde approach to filmmaking, the film stars Stellan Skarsgard, Stacy Martin, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Shia LeBeouf, Christian Slater, Jamie Bell, Uma Thurman and Willem Dafoe...how’s that for a star-studded cast?
Shia LaBeouf plays one of Joe's lovers in Nymphomaniac
There may be loads of mainstream actors on board, but the concept behind Nymphomaniac is anything but commercial. Charting the sexual history of Joe, a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac, the plot sees her recount her erotic experiences to Seligman, a bachelor who took her in after finding her having been beaten up in an alley. Divided into two separate films, or “volumes”, and eight chapters, the first volume of Nymphomaniac tells the story of Joe when she was young (played by Stacy Martin) while volume two is concerned with the older Joe.
Continue reading: The Mythological Production Of Lars Von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac'
Joe is a fiercely determined 50-year-old woman whose sexual drive has taken over her entire life. Her story of how she ended up injured in an alleyway and subsequently being nursed back to health by the curious Seligman deepens and darkens in this half of the story, as she relays tales of how her sexuality has caused so much damage. In a bid to somehow recover from her nymphomania, she attends a therapy group, but she also can't resist meeting a therapist of a different kind as she finds new and more dangerous ways to challenge herself and her sexuality. Her pleasure through pain has led her to a potential job with a group of criminals who are looking for somebody to inflict pain on their victims. But with such instable people around her, just how close is she to landing in some serious trouble?
Continue: Nymphomaniac: Volume II Trailer
Joe has always known she's been completely obsessed with sex ever since she was a young girl. Her excessive desires would see her meet man after man after man, eventually with little ability to remember who was who. Her fantasies were extreme; she wanted to rebel against the idea of love by allowing herself to be used by men as if she were an object. When she finds herself lying in an alleyway in her fifties having been badly beaten by an as yet unknown perpetrator, she is rescued by a charming older man named Seligman who takes her to his home and offers her a pick-me-up and a bed for the night. It's there she uncovers her entire sexual history, though with none of the joy it brought her as a young woman. Instead, she is despondent and filled with a heart-breaking self-hatred as Seligman tries to offer some wise words of comfort.
Continue: Nymphomaniac: Volume 1 Trailer
The Billy Elliot actor has regaled us with some key moments from the set of Nymphomaniac - out this weekend on a strictly limited basis in the U.K
If Jamie Bell’s account is anything to go by, working with Lars Von Trier is a truly unforgettable experience. The young British actor has recounted the Danish director’s strange directing techniques with The Guardian in an interview, and they involve meeting him, totally naked (Von Trier, not Bell) and smacking Charlotte Gainsbourg with pleasantries skipped.
Jamie Bell, pictured far right, plays 'K' in Nymphomaniac.
"I'd just got to Copenhagen to begin shooting. Thomas was showing me around: 'We built this set here, this is where the production design room is.' Then we had to walk past this outdoor pool and there was Lars with a towel in his hand,” explained bell. “He dropped the towel, he shook my hand – he was stark bollock-naked – and he said, 'Do you want to come for a swim?' And I said, 'I'm all right man, I just got here, I've still got my suitcase, so I'll wait.'"
The reviews suggest Von Trier has nailed it with Nympho
This weekend sees the limited release of Lars Von Trier’s latest mindbender: Nymphomaniac. Fans of the enigmatic Danish director will relish the chance to see both volumes back to back with this one-day (Saturday Feb 22) release, but if you need convincing to see 4.5 hours of Lars then read on.
Gainsbourg gets up to some raunchy stuff in Nymphomaniac
The film, like many of Von Trier’s, sees Charlotte Gainsbourg take the lead role. She’s a troubled nymphomaniac who provides the film’s plot by recounting her life after Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård) finds her beaten in an alley.
It’s split in to two parts – Volume I and II – and both parts are playing tomorrow in London as a double feature. The reviews, however, seem to focus on individual volumes, with the first achieving 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, and the second, 83%.
“A provocative, engrossing, often hilarious, frequently tough picture. Not for all sensibilities but it's among von Trier's more playful, purely entertaining films, with insight and humour in even the horrors,” wrote Empire’s Kim Newman in his review.
“By the end of four hours the concept "picaresque" has been serially used and abused, much like the film's heroine. There's a vision here, even so, that shapes the film's prolix, promiscuous ends,” said Nigel Andrews in The Financial Times.
“For the most part Nymphomaniac is compelling and achieves exactly what von Trier set out to do: a multi-faceted exploration of sexuality, in all its bizarre, twisted glory,” writes James Mottram for The List.
And here, at Contact Music, Rich Cline awarded Nymphomaniac (both volumes as one film) 4/5, writing: “For the most part Nymphomaniac is compelling and achieves exactly what von Trier set out to do: a multi-faceted exploration of sexuality, in all its bizarre, twisted glory.”
If one thing’s for sure, it’s that Lars Von Trier will take you out of your comfort zone with Nymphomaniac, and it’s something you should experience in its enterity. So what are you waiting for, pick up the phone and start dialing! Oh wait, that’s a different film.
'Nymphomaniac Volume 1' is certainly the best movie on release in the UK this weekend. Go see it.
We've been writing about Lars Von Trier's Nymphomaniac for a couple of years now, reporting on the explicit sex scenes, the madness, the whole circus. Through it all we've been bracing ourselves for a movie that we know is basically a massive practical joke on us, though now it's here, it seems Nymphomaniac: Volume 1 could be one of the cinematic highlights of 2014.
It stars Charlotte Gainsbourg as Joe, a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac who is discovered badly beaten in an alley by an older bachelor (Stellan Skarsgard) who takes her home. As he sees to her wounds, Joe recounts the erotic story of her adolescence and young-adulthood, told in flashbacks.
Continue reading: With 96%, Lars Von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac' Could Be 2014's Best Movie
Date of birth
21st July, 1971
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