Women: intrinsically evil or tragically misunderstood? If this strikes you as a fruitful topic of discussion, then you may wish to see — or perhaps I should say endure — Lars von Trier’s “Antichrist,” a film that has already set off carefully orchestrated frissons of disturbance at film festivals around the world. It starts with a slow-motion, black-and-white sequence, scored to a Handel aria, of graphic sex (with a snippet of hard core thrown in just for fun) and climaxes with two vivid scenes of genital mutilation.I'm feeling less and less certain that I want to see this movie. Considering how much I've been enjoying Charlie Chaplin of late, it hardly seems like the time for me.
Mr. von Trier has said that making the movie helped him overcome a crippling depression. I’m glad he feels better. He has certainly lost none of the impish, assaultive sensationalism that has made him both a darling and a scapegoat of film critics. But the formal rigor and intellectual brio that made his best films — “Breaking the Waves” and “Dogville” — as hard to dismiss as they were easy to loathe seems to have abandoned him. The scandal of “Antichrist” is not that it is grisly or upsetting but that it is so ponderous, so conceptually thin and so dull.
Plus, I'm not certain I could convince anyone to come see this with me.