First of all, forget all about this nonsense the press in Cannes has created around Lars von Trier’s newest film. “Love it or hate it”? Not really. I neither loved it nor hated it, I’m more in between, and I humbly say I haven’t truly understood this film, not deep within. But since the director himself has said he doesn’t comprehend some of the images he created, I suppose it’s not a problem… Charlotte Gainsbourg plays a woman, Willem Dafoe, a man. They’re married and now grieve the death of their little boy, although they react differently to the tragedy. The woman can’t accept the lost and sinks into depression whereas the man assists her during her suffering, trying to “cure” her through therapy. As she confesses that the woods is the place she fears the most, feeling powerless and exposed there, they move to their cabin Eden located in the woods, a place in the middle of nowhere. Here her treatment will continue, but not exactly in a progressive manner.
In many of his previous films, Lars von Trier presented women as suffering characters, victims of a man’s world. Fragile in the surface, nevertheless strong deep within. Somehow it always made me see him as a feminist, but in Antichrist, things aren’t quite the same, as he resurrected old religious tabus against the female sex. Perhaps it has nothing to do with the film’s purpose, however it’s impossible to be indifferent to certain lines. What else could justify the insane behaviour of the female in the film’s final moments than a line such as “women have no control over their own bodies”?
The film is neither a thriller nor a horror, and I’d like to believe a certain scene envolving a talking wolf was made as a joke, as I laughed so hard that I almost cried… The images are nevertheless beautifully haunting, especially the ones in the woods, which evoque a dreamlike atmosphere. The forest is so tangible that it becomes a third character, and the gorgeous soundtrack is hypnotic. There are moments of roughess, including a self-mutilation, but I just had to close my eyes for a second. I suppose only moralists would feel disturbed by anything else, and honestly, I don’t know what’s all the fuzz surrounding Antichrist.

Photos found here.

19 Comments to “>Antichrist”

  1. >It's nice to read reviews like yours, wich don't go with the tendency. I really admire Von Triers cinema, and I think I'm gonna like this one.Ciao!

  2. >i hadnt heard of this film, and it does look interesting. you are such a great reviewer. i like that you never tell too much and you dont use too many adjectives!

  3. >Great review! I've heard about the movie too, but after reading your take on it, I think I'll skip it. A friend's comment was similar to yours, he told me that the best thing about the film was its visual quality.

  4. >im going to watch it no matter what bad critics it has. lars von trier always does interesting stuff.

  5. >I really like your review – it is so nice to finally hear some one say that it's just a movie and play it down a little. Danish media has been going crazy over this film, so I think it's a bit difficult not to have huge expectations.

  6. >Great review. I've heard a lot because of the buzz around the Cannes, but it's really nice to get a more balanced review. I've heard that it's visually beautiful, yet a bit hard to follow. Still on the fence…

  7. >looks interesting. I think I want to see it for myself though I usually agree with your thoughts on films. thanks for the review!

  8. >i have not heard of it… but the pics look intriging

  9. >Romeika, gostei da sua coerente crítica. Agora, me diga uma coisa, os filmes do Lars Von Trier foram feitos para serem compreendidos? Eu acho que não! São poucos os filmes dele que eu consigo realmente entender… Acho que os filmes dele são mais reativos, no sentido de que causam na gente diferentes sensações e sentimentos.

  10. >Kamila, eu entendo a golden heart trilogy, a u.s. trilogy… ja com relacao a trilogia "europa" e a serie pra tv, riget, as coisas comecam a complicar. E "anticristo" eh mais por aih. Mas concordo com a questao dos filmes serem reativos.

  11. >This onw looks interesting. I see you are into film. what did you think of happy-go-lucky? I loved it. I do a five most recently watched, I see you have six. Will be checking your blog for great movie ideas, looks like you like them as much as me. great blog!

  12. >"women as suffering characters, victims of a man's world"i would agree..throw on some stilettos and bam! youve got power again-cmacosmicaroline.blogspot.com

  13. >whoaa, where did you get to watch this? looks exttremely interseting, the trailer is similar to blair witch but maybe that's not its intentions.

  14. >Alice, the film has opened in DK, so I watched it here, not in Cannes hehehehe I haven't thought about it, but it does have a Blair vibe in the trailer, but I can assure it's nothing like it;-)

  15. >Sherri, I liked happy-go-lucky, I wish I knew a character just like Poppy in real life:-) And you're right, I do love movies ^.^

  16. >I love your thoughts on the movies you see. I've watched many movies because of what you've said about them, and I often consult your site before I will see a movie. What you say is insightful and honest. So, thanks for all your comments!

  17. >Britney, I feel flattered that you consult my blog before seeing a film. Thank you for reading my movie posts;-)

  18. >I've been hearing about this and eager to see it- what are your final thoughts? Should I see it at $9.00 a ticket or just skip it?Love your blog by the way….

  19. >Ennui, I'd recommend you to see it in the movies due to the beauty of the images… It always works better in the big screen than on the dvd:-)

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