29 March 2014 | larrychoiceman
Excellent direction, but very unimpressive writing
Even as a teenager, Lars von Trier (then known only as Lars Trier) had a distinctive cinematic eye. The color-saturated aesthetic that we see in 2011's "Melancholia" is prefigured in this, one of his earlier works. Unsurprisingly, the direction was deft, assured, and challenged the viewer's expectations of what cinema can achieve; in short, typical Lars (von) Trier.
However, the writing was weak, not even rising to a level that could justly be called sophomoric. It sheds no real light on life; it is as if the writer had a paucity of life experiences from which to draw and instead relied on facile conceptions of what makes one experience boring and another not. But the stunted quality of the writing made the whole film dull. The only saving grace, as mentioned above, was Trier's typically assured direction; thankfully, his writing has matured as he has.
(Addendum: Few critics have noted that Nymphomaniac, Vol. II is virtually a shot for shot recreation of "A Dead Boring Experience".)