Nymphomaniac is the wild, poetic story of a woman’s journey from birth to 50, as told by the main character, self-diagnosed nymphomaniac Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg). On a cold winter’s evening, charming middle-aged bachelor Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård) finds Joe beaten up in an alley. He brings her home to his flat, where he tends to her wounds while asking her about her life. He listens intently as Joe, over eight chapters, recounts her sprawling, multifaceted story, rich in associations and interconnected incidents.
Jury motivation: Big. Mad. Wild. Scholarly. Rich. Challenging. With Nymphomaniac, Lars von Trier underlines again that he is one of a kind – not only in Nordic cinema, but in the film medium as a whole. With his four-hour journey of discovery through a woman’s sex life, von Trier treats film as if he invented it. For those of an adventurous bent, Nymphomaniac offers a great sense of place, bold drama, wilful narrative structure and mischievous reflections on human nature. It borrows from porn and classic literature – but there’s nothing quite like it.
Jury members: Per Juul Carlsen, Eva Novrup Redvall, Jakob Wendt Jensen