Everyone handles death in their own way. My grandfather’s death from a heart attack was a shock to the entire family. His death was the first one I experienced. I found it perplexing; because after the cemetery for the next seven days we all had to meet at my oldest aunt’s house, where it seemed like we were having a party. People kept showing up each day, bringing enough food to share with everyone. For my grandmother’s death it was a different experience. She had dementia and was living in a nursing home for several years. By the time she died, it was more of a relief than sadness for most of us. Death in this intensely graphic movie was overpowering. While making love in the next room the couple’s 2 year old son climbed out his bedroom window and fell to his death. Williem Dafoe (Spider-Man, The Hunter) played the grief-stricken father and Charlotte Gainsbourg (21 Grams, Do Not Disturb) the mother. To deal with their overwhelming loss they traveled to their remote cabin in the woods, to work on their devastated marriage. The loss of their son was the catalyst that brought to the surface the couple’s deep fears, making a bad situation worse. One of the reasons I wanted to see this film was due to Charlotte winning the best actress award at the Cannes Film Festival. Granted her intense acting was painfully exquisite as was William’s; but, the subject matter was outrageous to me. With graphic scenes of sex and bloody violence, I found this movie obscenely indulgent on the part of writer and director Lars von Trier (Dogville, Melancholia). When I wasn’t wincing from some of the violent scenes, I could appreciate the other scenes that were breathtakingly artistic. The loss of a child has to be one of the most painful things in a parent’s life. As the viewer, it was painful to watch this film and I felt I lost two hours of my time.
1 3/4 stars — DVD