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A disturbing but clever parable on playing God: empathy, compassion, forgiveness, cruelty, sins and final judgement.
Per wiki: ... the closing credits shown with a montage images of poverty-stricken Americans [taken from Jacob Holdt's documentary book American Pictures (1984)] accompanied by David Bowie's song "Young Americans". (Though the song indeed is playing, the iconic photos on screen are from familiar depression or Dust Bowl era. Either wiki erred or the DVD has updated the photo essay due to anti-American criticism. The pictures in Holdt's book are on portraits of minorities while the film's are primarily on white Caucasians.)
Three hour long film and I was riveted every second. It plays out as a horrifying fairy tale - the grimmest Grimm. A stranger, a woman, comes to Dogville. A small town, done as an elaborate stage set - absolutely brilliant design. Who is she, why has she come, will the residents accept her and let her stay, and how will she fare? Done in 9 parts with a voice-over. Nicole Kidman is breathtaking as Grace. I can see why people didn't like it--the movie cuts away any semblance of comfort zone, and it's long. I think it was worth every minute.
This movie was an amazing viewing experience. It was created in a sort of stage like play format. Minimal props were used and all that you see is a black background as if the stage itself was situated in front of some black abyss. Upon first watching this movie I thought I was going to watch a less than mediocre prerecorded play for PBS. It initially is unappealing to the eye to watch. However, the story line is wonderfully rich and complex and the acting is very well done. You soon find yourself enthralled in the story line and realize that it is so powerful/well done that the lack of visual screen set design is not an issue.
This one was a long slog that I simply could not bring myself to sit through for more than ten or fifteen minutes. Judge me as you will. I just couldn't take another second of the pretentiousness of this thing. You might have more patience than I do.
Movie asks the question - is Grace, measuring others to a lower standard than how we measure ourself a form of arrogance? Does holding people accountable for their actions result from our seeing them as our equals ?
This movie is unique and thought-provoking. Usually, I avoid three hour movies, but this one sucked me in; perhaps the chapter format made it more appealing. Stick with it through the end, it's worth it.
Utterly horrendous in terms of writing, directing, and most of the acting. Von Trier's contrivances on the topic of corruption are so bleatingly obvious as to be grotesque insults toward humanity. Also, it's a slog. Oh, and if you didn't already know that all men are horrible sexual miscreants, this 3-hour film will leave no doubts left. Gee, thanx, Larzzzzzzz.
Experimental does not equal great - or even good in the case of this film... The novelty wore off pretty quickly for me and then I turned the movie off too.
Agree with noisexorcist - you have to see this movie if you love movies as art, not only entertainment. This one will horrify the viewer if he is not already at mankind's vilest traits.
Possibly Lars' reworking of "Our Town," a difficult film but full of twists and references that will spark late night conversations with other Van Trier enthusiasts.
James Caan's understated performance anchors it.
This movie is definitely not for everyone. Artsy, check. Long, check. Extreme to the point of absurdity, check. However, I've never been more glad to see a movie through to the end. This is a film that literally changed the way I think about the world. Lars Von Trier is filmmaker that polarizes opinions, but it is hard to doubt his brilliance. This film is brutal, boring at times, and can seem absurd. But it is in the absurdity of it that Lars Von Trier is able to bring, at the last moments, a powerful message. Beautiful, incredible, thought provoking film.
Artsy movie but a waste of time if you are seeking to be entertained. Stay away from it.
Skip It - Dogville (2003) 178 min. Exhaustingly long and experimental film about a woman hiding from the mob in a small rural town in middle America - experimental in terms of the film not possessing full sets. The narrative takes place on sound stages with only a few props to accent the scene. That in of itself is terribly distracting and doesn’t allow the viewer to buy into the film’s storyline. Producers must realize always remember that a great picture becomes a great picture when one forgets one’s only watching a movie
The description makes this sound like a nice little thriller/action movie.
It doesn't point out that this is a very artsy film, with a set and acting style that is reminiscent of a play at your local art theatre.
Not necessarily bad, but maybe not what you were expecting.