If, by chance, you've been keeping up on the controversy, here's my brief take: the overreaction to Lars Von Trier's ANTICHRIST at this year's Cannes Film Festival may have done the film a huge favor. Though I don't recommend seeking out third-act spoilers prior to seeing the movie, knowing where the film was headed allowed me to connect more palpably to the emotional turmoil suffered by the unnamed couple (Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg) in the wake of their son's accidental death (which, by the way, von Trier has shot like a pornographic perfume commercial). Granted, this didn't make the film any less bewildering, but it at least kept me from obsessing over the much-blabbed-about violence that occurs not-so-abruptly in the film's penultimate chapter (and, yes, von Trier is doing chapter breaks again). In a way, what happens felt like a natural escalation of the characters' grief-induced animosity. It's anything but a stunt.
Does von Trier know precisely what he's saying with ANTICHRIST? I haven't a fucking clue, but I can't wait to watch it again. This may not be one of the best films of 2009, but it's definitely one of the most indelible.
IFC Films begins rolling out ANTICHRIST on October 23rd. Do not miss it.