Lars von Trier spins a family tragedy into a fable that is both magical and nightmarish, but thoroughly in keeping with the filmmaker’s vision.
Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg’s traumatised couple retreat to Eden, an isolated cabin in the woods, following the accidental death of their son. There, they hope to repair their grief-stricken marriage. But nature has very different intentions and the situation soon goes from bad to worse. Drawing as much on fairy tales as he does the conventions of horror, von Trier’s visually dazzling film sparked outrage when it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. A filmmaker who delights in controversy, von Trier’s film is catnip for the easily offended, but remains a compelling film from the director of Breaking the Waves, Melancholia and The House That Jack Built.