Provocateur filmmaker Lars von Trier raises the stakes on his previous shockeroos with the tale of a woman named Joe -- played by Charlotte Gainsbourg as the mature version, Stacy Martin as the ingénue -- who defines her life as a series of sexual conquests. The performances of Gainsbourg, Martin, and Stellan Skarsgård (as Joe’s savior/interlocutor) are the main reasons to watch this first of a two-part trip down the same rabbit hole as von Trier’s Antichrist
. The numerous, stressful sex scenes do nothing more than add to the general loneliness and alienation – something writer-director von Trier knows a little about, but which are barely worth one trip to the dark side, let alone two. Shia LaBeouf, Sophie Kennedy Clark, and Uma Thurman costar, the latter winningly. Contains penetrations and other sex acts, some with body doubles. And so? (118 min.).