Antichrist (2009, Lars von Trier)
That von Trier would toy around with genital mutilation or talking animals isn't half as shocking and disconcerting as the fact that in a take on the hysterical dynamic between grief and sex he comes up with absolutely nothing worthwhile to say. Is the triteness perhaps the point? Is it a commentary on contemporary society in the sense that so many of us turn to hollow pop psychologists with ulterior motives only to close up the wound on the outside and leave it festering on the inside? Was the intention for Willem Dafoe to surpass woodenness and achieve a kind of serene ode (or is it blank-eyed verse) to non-acting? Did the fox really need to have his say? Charlotte Gainsbourg on the other hand perhaps deserves some kudos for tackling a joke of a character with such ferocity, heart and commitment. It's uncanny. Despite von Trier's best efforts, she avoids coming off as ridiculous or even pitiable, and throughout the wrench-wielding, clit-slitting shenanigans she remains searingly relatable.