The first and better part of Lars Von Trier’s sex odyssey sees Stellan Skarsgard take in a battered woman named Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg), who proceeds to recount her life as a nymphomaniac, and her various conquests, experiences and tragedies. Stacy Martin plays the young Joe, and we are sure to see more of her in the years to come. A bizarrely accented Shia LeBoeuf plays her sexual nemesis, Jerome, and numerous other familiar faces crop up along the way, including Christian Slater as Joe’s father – perhaps the only decent man she has ever known. While Gainsbourg’s narration reeks of melancholy, there is a playful wit throughout the film, and as it deals predominantly with exploration, the tone is lighter that it will become in Volume 2. This is everything I would want from an LVT sex movie – black humour, copious nudity, deeply religious moralising, and yet the acquiescence that it’s all rather good fun.