Dogville

( 9 )

Overview

Set in a small fictional town in the U.S. during the 1930s, Lars von Trier's Dogville was filmed in a studio with a minimal set and features narration by John Hurt. On the run from a group of gangsters, Grace Nicole Kidman arrives in the small mining town of Dogville. Town philosopher Tom Edison Paul Bettany takes her in and strikes a deal with her: She'll work for the townsfolk in exchange for a safe place to hide; after two weeks the people will vote for her to either stay or go. Grace agrees to the terms and ...
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Overview

Set in a small fictional town in the U.S. during the 1930s, Lars von Trier's Dogville was filmed in a studio with a minimal set and features narration by John Hurt. On the run from a group of gangsters, Grace Nicole Kidman arrives in the small mining town of Dogville. Town philosopher Tom Edison Paul Bettany takes her in and strikes a deal with her: She'll work for the townsfolk in exchange for a safe place to hide; after two weeks the people will vote for her to either stay or go. Grace agrees to the terms and ends up meeting the locals, including the town doctor Philip Baker Hall, shopkeeper Lauren Bacall, and apple farmer Stellan Skarsgård. Eventually, Grace's standing in the town takes a downward shift as the search for her intensifies.
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
An audacious, provocative film that dazzles many viewers while infuriating others, Dogville is the ideologically skewed but fascinating product of Danish director Lars von Trier Dancer in the Dark, who brings his fundamentally anti-American bias to this dark, Depression-era parable. It unfolds in a small Rocky Mountain town where a frightened young woman Nicole Kidman seeks refuge from the gangsters following her. Championed by a sympathetic young man Paul Bettany, she is granted a two-week “trial period” to determine her suitability as a prospective resident of Dogville. The townspeople especially the males are suspicious of this taciturn fugitive yet willing to take advantage of her when the opportunity arises. In the manner of Thornton Wilder’s play Our Town, von Trier’s film plays out on a nearly barren stage, with just a few props scattered around and chalk outlines drawn on the floor to represent buildings. The absence of physical trappings are less apparent than one might suspect because the acting is so powerful: Dogville’s cast includes as townspeople such fine supporting players as James Caan, Ben Gazzara, Lauren Bacall, Patricia Clarkson, Jeremy Davies, Stellan Skarsgard, Chloe Sevigny, and Blair Brown, with John Hurt contributing his sonorous tones as a narrator. The director depicts these semi-rural villagers as inherently suspicious, xenophobic, duplicitous, opportunistic, craven, and easily stirred to violence. He brings to this script which he wrote what critic Roger Ebert correctly identified as the “ideological subtlety of a raving prophet on a street corner,” and there’s no doubt that many viewers will be turned off by his bleak, hateful characterization of small-town America. But there is undeniable strength and vigor in von Trier’s direction, and remarkable passion in the performances of a varied cast. In short, Dogville is one of those rare movies for which there is no middle ground: People either love it or hate it. But it’s not easily forgotten, and that’s more than can be said for many contemporary movies.
All Movie Guide
Master provocateur Lars von Trier divided audiences with this formally daring film about a woman on the run who finds a worse fate at the hands of her rescuers. Set in Depression-era America, Dogville was filmed on an empty soundstage à la Thornton Wilder's play Our Town, a mounting that literalizes the movie's metaphoric baring of the American soul. Like Emily Watson's Bess in Breaking the Waves and Björk's Selma in Dancer in the Dark, Nicole Kidman's Grace is the latest in a long line of von Trier's sacrificial innocents. Her march to martyrdom comprises the heart of this parable, which comments on the essential hypocrisy and meanness of America. By the climax, however, the movie enlarges its metaphor to suggest a more sweeping critique of human nature. The apocalypse that ends Dogville, signaled by Grace's reunion with her mobster father, carries faint echoes of divine retribution. Ending with a montage of photographs from the Great Depression, von Trier seems to tip his hand toward a more limited reading of his movie, which was denounced by some critics as an anti-American screed. Its political and philosophical subtext aside, Dogville is clearly the act of a filmmaker working with consummate confidence. The writing and the performances can be wooden, but the 177-minute epic remains compulsively, disturbingly watchable. Held together by John Hurt's brilliant narration -- perhaps the finest voice-over in movies since Barry Lyndon -- Dogville is a testament to von Trier's prodigious storytelling skills.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/24/2004
  • UPC: 031398162315
  • Original Release: 2003
  • Rating:

  • Source: Lions Gate
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Nicole Kidman Grace
John Hurt Voice Only
Paul Bettany Tom Edison
Philip Baker Hall Tom Edison Sr.
James Caan The Big Man
Stellan Skarsgård Chuck
Jeremy Davies Bill Henson
Chloë Sevigny Liz Henson
Patricia Clarkson Vera
Ben Gazzara Jack McKay
Blair Brown Mrs. Henson
Lauren Bacall Ma Ginger
Zeljko Ivanek Ben
Harriet Andersson Gloria
Udo Kier The Man in the Coat
Cleo King Olivia
Miles Purinton Jason
Bill Raymond Mr. Henson
Siobhan Fallon-Hogan Martha
Shauna Shim June
Jean-Marc Barr The Man With the Big Hat
Erich Silva
Trinity Stiles
Jimmy Uller Chuck
Cynthia Almeida body double
Ulf Anderson
Max Angervall body double
Robert Arlinder body double
Evelina Brinkemo Athena
Anna Brobeck Olympia
Jan Coster
Eva Ermenz body double
Elisabeth Falk body double
Mattias Fredriksson
Atle Fägersten body double
Andreas Galle
Barry Grant
Niklas Henriksson
Lásl Hágó
Gunnar Johansson body double
Mikael Johansson
Sonny Johnson body double
Hans Karlsson
Susan Ketola body double
Lee R. King
Kirkbakk. Oskar
Sara Klingvall body double
Patricia Page Leandersson body double
Tilde Lindgren Pandora
Cecilia Lindquist body double
Åke Ljung body double
Evelina Lundqvist Diana
Alexandra Mehrstam body double
Sune Myrfalk body double
Helga Olofsson Dahlia
Kent Vikmo
Eric Voge
Ove Wolf
Fafnnette Zetterström body double
Ingvar Örner
Allan Wilson Conductor
Technical Credits
Lars von Trier Director, Camera Operator, Screenwriter
Kollekt APS Agent
B.S. Christiancen & Co. Special Effects
Gillian Berrie Co-producer
Lene Børglum Executive Producer
Bettina Brokemper Co-producer
Arte France Cinema Co-producer
France 3 Cinema Co-producer
Jack Collier Cinematographer
Linda Daae Screenwriter
Anja Dahl Makeup
Louise Drake Set Decoration/Design
Pétur Einarsson Sound Editor
The English Score Composer
Tomas Eskilsson Associate Producer
Malte Forssel Consultant/advisor
Peter Garde Executive Producer
Anja Grafers Co-producer
Peter Grant Production Designer
Simone Grau Set Decoration/Design
Peter Hjorth Special Effects Supervisor
Joachim Holbek Musical Arrangement
Marleen Holthuis Makeup
Peter Jensen Special Effects
Peter Aalbæk Jensen Executive Producer
Lars Jönsson Executive Producer
Karl Juliusson Consultant/advisor, Production Designer
Avy Kaufman Casting
Dorothea Lange Cinematographer
Russel Lee Cinematographer
Anthony Dod Mantle Cinematographer
Robert McCann Makeup
Carl Mydans Cinematographer
Joyce Nettles Casting
Lene Nielsen Production Manager
Hanna Nilsson Casting
Turid Øversveen Associate Producer
Edith Film OY Associate Producer
Charlotte Pederson Production Manager
Liisa Pentillä Associate Producer
Manon Rasmussen Costumes/Costume Designer
Anders Refn Asst. Director
Mike Ross-Trevor Sound Mixer
Arthur Rothstein Cinematographer
Peter Ryom Consultant/advisor
Ben Shan Cinematographer
A. Siegel Cinematographer
Sigma Films Ltd/Zoma Ltd Co-producer
Marianne Slot Executive Producer
Molly Malene Stensgaard Editor
Per Streit Sound/Sound Designer
Mari Vaalasranta Makeup
J. Vachon Cinematographer
Anders Valbro Musical Direction/Supervision
Els Van De Vorst Co-producer
Vibeke Windeløv Producer
Tina Winholt Production Manager
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

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2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Dogville is not "entertaining," it is profound.

    It's a morality play for goodness sake, not a political statement, as some reviewers insist. Regardless of what von Trier might think of USA, it is a great film depicting the paradoxes of virtue and evil. The locale is irrelevant.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A MUST SEE

    This is one of the best movies of all time. Its archetypal message is universal to the world as a whole and casts a cynic and sometimes perhaps pessimistic view of reality of human condition.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    More than meets the eye

    I must say, the film is much more than it seems. I would rather have seen it set in a "real world" setting. The "Stage" environment gave it a artsy feel that seemed to be trying to hard. There was really no reason for it, except perhaps to make the cheapest movie possible. Having said that: What makes this movie superb is the ending. What makes the ending so great is that you did not know you were heading there. Not like most "twist ending". There is no twist. However you may be startled to find yourself so conflicted on the proper emotion. Satisfaction or horror? See the movie. It hits you in the gut at the end and makes the 3 hours worthwhile. At least once.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Slow starter...turns into my best dramatic pick for 2004

    Ok, so the stage is set (literally) and you learn a little bit about the town from the opening scene. At 1st it strikes you as just another 'Americana' type film, but it's way more than meets the eye. There are no elaborate settings in the mountains, train station, etc., the whole thing was shot on a sound stage. You know a door was opened because they make the motion with their hands and the sound is heard instantly, so get your imagination up to par for this one. Once you can get past the 'play setting', you'll be in for a treat. Nicole was her best, by chapter 3 I felt her desperation and urgency and need to fit in. The people of Dogville are strange, yet so very like ourselves or people we know, it hits home in the subtlest way, these people are you and you know it...and it shames you. Like most small towns Dogville is full of little secrets and quirks that make any small town function and interesting at the same time. Grace (Kidman) does her best to stay among their good graces in order to remain in the town and it quickly turns into something like a car accident scene, it's gross but you just can't help but look. I literally caught myself feeling embarrassed and ashamed for the characters & actually looking away...that's a 1st for me. Give this film a chance, yes it's lengthy, yes it's complicated, but it will teach you a little something about the human condition. I think the most disturbing thing about this film is that you can see bits & pieces of yourself in almost every character, not to mention the ending is justifiably gratifying. I hope Kidman receives the kudos she deserves for this film with an Oscar nod and Lars Von Trier...what can I say other than you've done it again! Go watch this, rent it, buy it, it's a masterpiece wrapped up in brown paper bagging waiting to be discovered.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Unexpected Movie

    I thought it was gonna be another another romance movie shown. and i thought that the setting would really be hmmm less fictional i thought it was gonna change in the middle but i got into it and didn't care I WAS HOOKED and i really got into it Good Movie

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Only If You Appreciate Plays

    Yes, this is a good movie, but you must appreciate live stage performances to truly enjoy this movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Spectacular Triumph

    One of the best movies I've seen in a long time. This movie while three hours long, is definetly worth the wait. The movie itself is spectacular but the ending is one of the best I've ever seen on a dramatic film. Nicole deserves another best actress Oscar for this one. As well the supporting cast define their roles. A must-buy (or at least a must-see.)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews