Lars Von Trier’s ‘Nymphomaniac’ Comes on Christmas Day

Bryan Enk
Movie Talk

There are usually one or two family-friendly films that are released on December 25 every year. And there is usually at least one decidedly non-family-friendly film released as an alternative choice, like Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" (and "Jackie Brown," for that matter). It's safe to say that Lars Von Trier's latest gift to the unsuspecting public, "Nymphomaniac," falls into that latter category.

"What's more Christmassy than a film like this?" asked Peter Aalbæk Jensen, the CEO of Von Trier's production company, Zentropa Entertainment, at the Cannes Film Festival. Deadline reports that Zentropa and Scandinavian distributor Nordisk Film have set the world premiere of "Nymphomaniac" in Copenhagen in December with the local theatrical release set for December 25.

Magnolia holds the U.S. distribution rights for the film, though there's no word if it will follow suit for the stateside release of the film. Hopefully we'll get a new Von Trier film wrapped (and then unwrapped) in a big bow this year, too.

Production on "Nymphomaniac" has been chock full of intrigue, with claims of actors engaging in real sexual intercourse (which is probably most definitely true) and whatnot. Whatever actual incidents took place on set, there's no doubt that "Nymphomaniac" is quite the ambitious project ... as it's actually not just one movie but two.

"We are making two films. It is a big operation. I personally hope that we should be ready for Cannes next year," said Jensen in an interview with Screen Daily in April 2012. "We will shoot both and edit both -- and we want to finish both at the same time."

Not only is it two movies, there are also two different versions of each.

"We will probably blur the central points of the human body for the release worldwide but we will probably make one unblurred that will be for screening maybe in Cannes," said Jensen.

"Nymphomaniac" didn't quite the Cannes deadline this year (which, if you remember, was the festival from which Von Trier was banned in 2011 after making comments about sympathizing with Hitler or some such nonsense), though who needs Cannes when you've got Christmas?

"Nymphomaniac" tells the epic tale of one sex-addicted woman's life journey from birth to age 50. Charlotte Gainsbourg, who's making her third appearance in a Von Trier film following "Antichrist" and "Melancholia," plays the lead role, with the impressive supporing cast including Von Trier virgins Christian Slater, Shia LaBeouf, Uma Thurman, Jamie Bell and Connie Nielsen and Von Trier alums Willem Dafoe, Jean-Marc Barr and, of course, Udo Kier.