Lars von Trier
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When a beautiful young Grace (Nicole Kidman) arrives in the isolated township of Dogville, the small community agrees to hide her from a gang of ruthless gangsters, and, in return, Grave agrees to do odd jobs for the townspeople. But as the search for her intensifies, they demand a much better deal. What they don’t know is that Grace has a dangerous secret, and their quiet little town will never be the same.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 164
- Fresh: 114
- Rotten: 50
- Average Rating: 6.9/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Rotten: What Lars von Trier has achieved is avant-gardism for idiots.
Fresh: You just have to see it to believe it. Frankly, I have never seen anything like it, which is not to say that it's good or bad, but it is different and even original.
Fresh: Yes, it plays like a baldfaced, brazen insult, but it is a stunningly accomplished one.
Fresh: Slow-moving but engrossing, it feels shorter, and any reservations you may have about the unorthodox approach are washed away by its unexpected and purgative ending.
How the idealism of youth devolves into the cynicism of old age
DOGVILLE explores the seemingly unbridgeable chasm between the theory and praxis of Idealism. The movie follows the efforts of the protagonist to hold onto her beliefs of what the United States could be even as she is used and abused by every American Institution. Philosophically reminiscent of "Lord of the Flies" and "Ravenous". This is not an anti-American polemic. It illuminates the hypocrisy that we have become accustomed to living with in order to remind us of the difference between what we say America stands for, and the reality of how we behave as a nation. The movie is shot as a black box theater production in order that traditional movie values will not distract from the topic at hand. DOGVILLE is a philosophical feast for those who look to be intellectually engaged with a movie. I'd love to hear from anyone who understands the symbolism of the Hummels.
Special effects for the mind, not the eyes
This is a truly artistic movie filmed in the style of an art school play. A minimalist set is used to represent the town which at first is distracting, however the lack of visual details help the viewer focus on the mental aspect of the film rather than on visual elements. If you are looking for a visually stimulating movie, you probably will not enjoy Dogville. However, if you are looking for an excellent story that explores human nature when a group has leverage over an individual, this movie will mentally satisfy.
This film is definitely not for everyone - only those who value a great story over dazzling special effects. It has an extremely minimalistic set that allows the excellent acting to really take center stage. Literally. While being a movie, it looks very much like a play. Set in the tiny mountain town of Dogville in depression era America, the townsfolk gain deep insight into the darkside of humanity when it grudgingly befriends and protects the beautiful Grace (Nicole Kidman) from a dangerous group of mobsters.