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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 19.05%
Just Average: 13.33%
Pretty Crappy: 3.81%
Sucks: 20.95%

8 reviews, 57 user ratings

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by Dr Nick

"I almost cried.....that's never happened before"
5 stars

Yay! Lars von Trier is back. Another experimental venture into the darkest areas of the human mind. And the man has outdone himself. This is even more depressing than Dancer In The Dark. But still ,oh so good. Amazing performances from the cast makes this one of the must-sees of the year.

Nicole Kidman plays Grace, a young woman on the run from what appears to be a gang of dangerous gangsters. She ends up in Dogville, a small mountain town in the middle of nowhere, where she is instantly befriended by Tom, the local writer/philosopher. He convinces the people of Dogville to take Grace in and protect her. Wanting to show her appreciation, Grace offers to lend a helping hand in the town, wherever help is needed.

By doing this, Grace disrupts the natural order of things in the town. As the townspeople have never been offered any assistance with their chores, they’ve always had to manage things on their own. But now, when the option is there, they one by one realise that there are plent of things they’d rather have someone else do. Grace is in no position to complain and does whatever they tell her to. Needless to say, she soon becomes very well-liked by the whole community.

When the police puts up wanted posters and starts asking questions about Grace, the “good” people of Dogville decide that their protection is worth more than what Grace is paying for it. They all decide the fair thing to do is to increase her workload and at the same time reduce her wages. Afraid that they’d hand her over to the police or the gangsters if she doesn’t co-operate, Grace does what she’s told. Soon, her role in the community has changed from a friend lending a helping hand to a slave worth nothing. The men in the village start to sexually abuse her, the women turn against her, believing she’s seducing their husbands. Even the children starts to abuse her. But, Grace struggles on, preferring rape and abuse to whatever fate awaits in the hands of the gangsters. Unfortunately for Grace, her situation in Dogville only keeps getting worse and rapidly deteriorates to the point where she is chained, raped, abused and ridiculed constantly.

So, another laugh-riot from Lars von Trier. Well, not exactly. Dogville has to be one of the most depressing and gut-wrenching films I’ve seen since…well…Dancer in the Dark. And this is even harder to watch. Von Trier keeps outdoing himself in creating miserable situations for his female lead characters. Emily Watson was pretty much raped to death in ‘Breaking the Waves’. In ‘Dancer in the Dark’ a police man stole the money a blind woman had saved up for hospital treatment for her son. And believe it or not, here he manages to create even more horrifying situations and far more despicable characters. At least the other films provided some comfort and relief in the fact there were at least some nice people in the world. In Dogville there is no such thing. Everyone is just rotten to the core.

Although very hard to watch at times, I still found Dogville an extremely rewarding experience. It looks amazing and the all-star cast are all superb. Nicole Kidman is amazing and it’s a real shame that she has pulled out of the two sequels. Much have been said about Von Trier’s decision to use a minimalist set. The whole film is played out on a giant map of the town. There are no walls, trees r bushes, just chalk marks. Even the dog is painted in chalk. Well, what can I say? You either accept it or you don’t. I was so engulfed in the story that I soon forgot the "map set". Whatever you think of it personally, it's interesting to see such radical experimentation in a film with actors of this calibre.

So, Lars Von Trier has done it again!! Well, for me anyway. Many of you will hate this film and will want to all sorts of nasty things to me for giving it five stars. Well, it deserves every last one of them. The man is a genius and I can't wait to see the two sequels.

Call it pretentious and misogynist art-house crap, or a modern masterpiece, the film is guaranteed to offer endless topics of conversations afterwards. You’ve never seen anything quite like it.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=8122&reviewer=345
originally posted: 12/09/03 14:30:22
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 SXSW Film Festival. For more in the 2004 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Minneapolis/St.Paul Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Minneapolis/St.Paul Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

5/20/13 Jason Lan The needless narration was the worse part: the dialogue was simple enough. 1 stars
10/28/11 hurdygurdy man As a dear old friend use to say: Get the gun!! 1 stars
11/28/10 dick trombley A highly creative allegory, misunderstood by most. 5 stars
8/11/08 Shaun Wallner Awesome storyline! 5 stars
5/16/08 Remi Great style, great plot, great finale. 4 stars
5/12/08 Geoffrey Ms Bacall needs to lay off the Woodbines-she looks and sounds so rough. Excellent film! 5 stars
5/13/07 David Pollastrini Boooooring! 2 stars
4/15/07 Bitchflaps Fascinating. I wrote off Von Trier's films in the past and I'm tempted to reassess them now 5 stars
6/14/06 William Goss Lengthy yet rich, with a solid performance by Kidman and a refreshingly bold climax. 4 stars
11/27/05 Jane it is great 5 stars
8/25/05 Paperazzo no special effects, cool movie, something different 1 stars
8/21/05 mmm naka doesn´t know about movies 5 stars
6/19/05 chris. that was really fun 5 stars
3/11/05 maria magnificent expierence 5 stars
3/08/05 Uncle Phucker First ten mintues you'll have to excuse. It's well worth the strange ride. Best film 2003! 5 stars
3/06/05 ad awesome 5 stars
1/10/05 allen stott great movie!!!! 4 stars
12/01/04 Lach MacDonald The slow narrative pace doesn't suit the TV-reflex attention span; so what? 5 stars
11/28/04 Movie Lover This film was unbearable. 1 stars
11/21/04 Dragana ATR, this is ART! I did not notice that lasted 3 hours 5 stars
11/21/04 ad nice twist 4 stars
11/12/04 Naka Nope! 1 stars
10/31/04 Anne-Marike revealing. the plain scenerie puts an emphasis on the character's inner development 5 stars
10/17/04 Natasha Theobald amazing storytelling; cynical and disturbing with a bedrock of truth 4 stars
10/16/04 Charlene Javier Possibly one of the best films of all time... 5 stars
10/13/04 fiona interesting 4 stars
9/12/04 leeleeD. Brilliant. I'm stunned. 5 stars
8/31/04 psycho dwarf Lars' sardonicism is overbearing in this trojan horse for polemical debate. 3 stars
8/30/04 A F Pretty good. Kidman makes me sick. Someone put her down. 4 stars
8/27/04 tatum It's not anti-American, it's anti-viewer, anti-entertaining, and Von Trier sucks! 1 stars
7/17/04 legend An interesting film about the nature of people and their dark side. 4 stars
6/15/04 Roxana It makes a few memorable points about human nature, about our fear of anything foreign. 4 stars
5/10/04 Palme d' Or The movie was a bit too stilted, but it did have some worth, and Nicole Kidman was great. 4 stars
5/01/04 nniedzielski It took me a few days after seeing this to realize what an effect it had on me. 4 stars
4/30/04 Cameron Slick aargh 2 stars
4/18/04 Monster W. Kung Von Trier's never been to the US yet thinks they suck huh? Well I've never seen this movie! 1 stars
4/14/04 von More about humanity than America, and the best movie to come out of this decade yet. 5 stars
4/12/04 zig it make you think about humanity itself 5 stars
4/03/04 freya Kay Interesting view of how others may view America. It is about saving amd than enslaving 4 stars
4/01/04 mark boring 1 stars
3/28/04 Xander long, weird, confusing (chalk?) but somewhat engaging 3 stars
3/21/04 Anarchy Azmi orang putih semua bodoh amerika bangang 5 stars
2/13/04 Jack Daniels Film for aspiring intellectuals that want to believe they've understood something profound 1 stars
1/27/04 irena overelongated, moralistic, over-explanatory, pathetic and morbid exaggeration 2 stars
1/27/04 NIcole Awesome, brilliant and Kidman is sublime 5 stars
1/23/04 Carina Romer All I can say is, he has done it again! I love his symbolism! 5 stars
1/20/04 Betty White Breathtaking cinematography and rich performances, especially from Kidman & Bacall. 5 stars
1/18/04 Akilis Awesome, brilliant and Kidman is sublime 5 stars
1/18/04 Lilo Great Script. Brilliant actors. Katharsis. Insight. I watched it 3 times (until now). 5 stars
1/16/04 Elendil Shaky camera. Good script. 4 stars
1/13/04 miky finally someone proves that comercially movies must be kicked out. 5 stars
1/13/04 Helen Bradley Kidman excellent weird but great script 5 stars
1/01/04 christopher pathetic 1 stars
12/29/03 John Bale Bleak fable set as theatre, good acting, poor camerawork. Nicole sounds like Marilyn M. 4 stars
12/17/03 Kyle *Yawn* WAY too damn long. 2 stars
11/20/03 Reini Urban This is how theater should be. masterpiece 5 stars
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  26-Mar-2004 (R)
  DVD: 24-Aug-2004



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