If only he'd do a comedy - Mick Jordan

10 Points

Viewer Rating:Mick Jordan has rated Antichrist rating: 2 Star

Lars Von Trier has made some very good films but often he has done so in spite of himself. His early experimental (Von Trier does nothing unless it's an experiment) 'Europa' I found to be fascinating and God help us all actually entertaining. – I haven't been entertained since. 'Antichrist' has certainly divided the critics, many against themselves as they find equal parts to love and loathe. There's something to offend everyone here, violence; gore; very brutal sex or just plain boredom for long passages. But there is a lot to admire too, some of the imagery (when not laid on with a trowel) is very effective; Gainsbourg's portrayal (and the film's) of the cement block of grief she is going through really hits home - and there's a talking fox. But every time the film starts to veer dangerously close into something good Von Trier quickly reigns it back in and throws in another graphic shock to provoke and disgust, after all he believes a film should be like a stone in your shoe (eh no – it shouldn't.) The story is well known by this time, a man and a woman lose their young child in a tragic accident and try and recover by going to their holiday home. It's the husband's idea – he is a therapist and believes he can help his wife through her suffering and as a result overcome his own. His approach is to spout really annoying clichés about grief; to use role play with him playing the role of nature, he even comes up with a “Fear Pyramid” – Von Trier really hates therapists. Willem Dafoe does his best but he really comes across as being so annoyingly preachy – and this from a man who twenty years ago played – Christ. On top of this the holiday home is a dark, dank dump of a place isolated in a dark dank glump of a forest – called Eden. (Subtlety thy name is not Von Trier.) For all its faults, and there are many many many, 'Antichrist' is worth seeing if only to find out what all the fuss is about – but it's not worth seeing again.

Review published on the 19 August 2009 14:06


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