Dogville (2003)

Dogville (2003)

GENRESCrime,Drama
LANGEnglish
ACTOR
Nicole KidmanPaul BettanyLauren BacallHarriet Andersson
DIRECTOR
Lars von Trier

SYNOPSICS

Dogville (2003) is a English movie. Lars von Trier has directed this movie. Nicole Kidman,Paul Bettany,Lauren Bacall,Harriet Andersson are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2003. Dogville (2003) is considered one of the best Crime,Drama movie in India and around the world.

Late one night, a beautiful and well-dressed young woman, Grace (Nicole Kidman), arrives in the mountainous old mining town of Dogville as a fugitive; following the sound of gunshots in the distance which have been heard by Tom (Paul Bettany), the self-appointed moral spokesman for the town. Persuaded by Tom, the town agree to hide Grace, and in return she freely helps the locals. However, when the Sheriff from a neighbouring town posts a Missing notice, advertising a reward for revealing her whereabouts, the townsfolk require a better deal from Grace, in return for their silence; and when the Sheriff returns some weeks later with a Wanted poster, even though the citizens know her to be innocent of the false charges against her, the town's sense of goodness takes a sinister turn and the price of Grace's freedom becomes a workload and treatment akin to that of a slave. But Grace has a deadly secret that the townsfolk will eventually encounter.

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Dogville (2003) Reviews

  • One of the bravest observations on the truth of humanity

    Viz792004-11-03

    I started watching Dogsville and felt like turning it off.. after all, what kind of movie could occur with no scenery? No doors.. it seemed like some sort of play/movie hybrid but after a shortwhile all those things faded away until I realized how much I would have missed if I had turned it off - it is now one of my favourite movies of all time. Why? It is so brave to criticse humanity like this and admit just how 'dark' a race we truly are - not matter how much each of us profess to being 'good', we all know that most of us are anything but. Through this movie you see a woman who learns the cold harsh truth in a place where she expected to find the goodness that her faith told her existed. And then on not finding it, discovered that even within her lay a wrath that echoed the darkness that she herself wished did not feature so dominant in our race. And the biggest test of this is to observe your own emotions throughout this movie until what you feel at the end as perfect evidence... I honestly believe those people that don't believe what this movie is expressing needs to take a cold hard look around them. And if they still don't believe, they are just like the people in this movie - unwilling to see the truth and coming up with excuses and reasons when nothing justifies the horrible world we live in. A true masterpiece - one of the few pure pieces of art in cinema with amazing acting from Nicole Kidman especially, and the lack of a set causes you to be immersed in the characters like no other movie. And its 'them' and human nature that is the focus. Will leave you thinking and astounded (unless you don't like to think and can't watch a movie that isn't afraid to do something unique, in which case there a countless movies for 'you').

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  • A Disturbing Sense of Illustration

    Benedict_Cumberbatch2006-03-03

    "Dogville" is, along with Peter Jackson's "Heavenly Creatures", one of the most disturbing film experiences I've ever had. Love it or hate it, it's impossible to be indifferent about this overwhelming film written and directed by Lars von Trier. This is the first part of a trilogy ironically entitled "USA: Land of Opportunities" ("Manderlay" is the second, "Wasington" will be the third). "Dogville" begins with a prologue and extends to nine chapters in almost three hours of daring, exquisite film-making. Nicole Kidman gives the performance of her career, in my opinion. Forget her (great) portrayal of Virginia Woolf in "The Hours", and the ambitious Suzanne Stone ("To Die For"): Kidman's most accomplished composition to date is Grace. She's a beautiful young American who, apparently on the run from gangsters, hides herself in a small Colorado town called Dogville, helped by Tom (Paul Bettany) and the other residents. Things go fine for some time until Dogville's folks begin to exploit the lovely Grace and, literally, chain her up like a dog. You'll better appreciate the film if you don't know too many details (and even if you do, Von Trier reserved us lots of bitter surprises). We could say briefly that this is a film about those people you lend a hand and want to take your arm, but "Dogville" is too sharp and intelligent to be summed up this way. Many people accused Lars von Trier of criticizing the American arrogance violently. That's true, but the fact is that "Dogville" is a universal story: it could happen anywhere. Human beings are really this bad?, we wonder by the end. "Dogville" wasn't made to make you feel good, but it's a compulsory film for everybody. "Dogville" is a much better work than "Dancer in the Dark", Von Trier's previous film which gave him the Golden Palm at Cannes, and proves definitely he's one of the greatest filmmakers nowadays. He led his ensemble cast wonderfully, and all of them are superb (that's no surprise, however, regarding Kidman, Ben Gazzara, Lauren Bacall, James Caan, Chloë Sevigny, Paul Bettany, Stellan Skarsgård, Jeremy Davies, Patricia Clarkson, Harriet Andersson, Udo Kier, Zeljko Ivanek and Philip Baker Hall, among others – honourable mention to John Hurt's excellent, ironic narration). 10/10. P.S.: You'll never forget David Bowie singing "Young Americans" after seeing this film.

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  • Hard to digest, but great.

    ffc_home2005-08-28

    Tough. Once again Lars von Trier tortures the audience (as he did previously on Dancer in the Dark) by upraising the darkest side of the human being. From the beginning you know that things can only get worse, but I doubt that one can figure out neither what's to come nor the powerful conclusion. Nicole Kidman's interpretation is perfect - intense, poignant, passionate, you name it. She is fantastic and so is the small cast locked inside Dogville's scenario (a wonderful creation - I wonder how something so simple can bring such a strong effect). Again, the entire cast is fantastic and for that goes an extra credit for Lars von Trier. His capability of pushing actors to the limit and extracting painful emotions from them creates a heavy atmosphere, full of tension and, at the same time, so familiar. It is not that Dogville represents the essence of our communities, but it exposes some aspects of our lives that we prefer to hide under the carpet.

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  • People as animals (spoilers throughout)

    Ricky_Roma__2005-06-18

    I find it quite amusing that so many Americans were outraged that Lars von Trier had the temerity to criticise their country without having visited it. After all, we do it all the time, don't we? Millions of us are quite content to sit on our sofas and criticise China, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Israel and countless other countries without having visited their shores. And we're perfectly justified in doing so. So why should Von Trier be vilified for criticising America from a few thousand miles away? Well, of course, I don't think he should. He's perfectly entitled to his opinion, and those that cry and moan are symptomatic of America's biggest problem – its inability to take criticism without getting its pants in a twist. Surely every great country should thrive on criticism. It should help it grow and develop. But instead America seems to resemble a child sometimes, spouting unhelpful phrases like, "America: love it or leave it" or, "You're either with us or against us." Therefore a film like Dogville, one that refuses to revel in the hollow American Dream, is vital, and it's a film that should be embraced, not shunned. But anyway, what the detractors seem to overlook is the fact that Dogville could really be a small town anywhere. It may be the first part in an American trilogy, but the small town values with their prejudices and hypocrisy are universal. Everyone can relate... The film begins and ends with a God's eye view of the proceedings and it isn't hard to imagine that Von Trier is looking down on the characters, judging them. In fact, as Tom himself says, everything is a game, a test, and Von Trier is the one pulling the strings. The game begins when Grace enters the town. The townsfolk are frightened, but Tom thinks it's a gift. He wants to see if Dogville has a problem with acceptance. Well, at the beginning, the citizens are understandably cautious, but they're eventually placated when Grace proves that she can help them out. And so at the beginning she develops a good relationship with the town and its citizens. But even at the beginning the relationship is far from equal. She may like everyone, but she's essential a slave. Yet the townsfolk like her best like this, when she's happily subservient. As the film progresses, the town is tested further. The police post wanted posters and accuse Grace of crimes that she couldn't have committed (as she was in the town at the time). But rather than this bringing everyone around to her cause, the town gets cold feet. It wants to help, but only as long as it doesn't put them at risk. Therefore they decide to doubly enslave Grace to make themselves feel better. It's an extraordinary move, but one that is anything but far-fetched. Individuals are brave, but people have worrying habit of proving themselves to be spineless. And seeing as Grace affects the status quo, the townsfolk decide to take their frustrations out on her. The men rape her physically and the women rape her psychologically. In fact, the most upsetting scene isn't one of the numerous rape scenes – although Chuck's rape scene does prove the brilliance of the set, what with it showing everyone going about their daily business and turning a blind eye to what is going on - it is instead the womens' abuse of Grace and the destruction of her figurines. It's more than just a physical violation. It's a violation of everything. Her dreams are being smashed right before her eyes. But why do the people of Dogville react this way? Surely their behaviour is an exaggeration. Well, it is and it isn't. Of course the film paints a bleak portrait of human nature that you might not find down your street, but I think that the film proves that we all have darkness present in us. It only takes the right conditions and the right buttons to be pressed for it to emerge. In the case of Dogville, it emerges for many reasons, but I think the main reason is because Grace shows everyone what they are. Before her arrival everyone is happily stuck in a rut, but once she arrives everything changes. Everyone is faced with their mediocrity and everyone's lies are exposed. In one scene McKay, after having finally admitted his blindness, indeed thanks Grace for "showing us who you are", but during her time in Dogville she also forces Bill to realise his stupidity (by playing checkers for him), Liz her unattractiveness (by catching Tom's eye), Ben his loneliness (by providing for him), Chuck and Vera their unhappy marriage (by catching Chuck's eye) and Tom his cowardice (through his refusal to kiss her even though she's admitted her love for him). Needless to say, not everyone likes being exposed. It's hard to face yourself when you don't like what you see. And therefore the person that you're going to punish is the one that made you look at your reflection… The ending is certainly bleak, but I think it forces us to take a hard look at ourselves. How often have we taken advantage of other people when we should have helped? How often have our intentions been selfish? And Grace's final actions suggest one thing to me: if you treat someone like an animal, you shouldn't be surprised when they treat you like one too.

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  • Exploration of the darkness of the human soul

    RayRoko2003-12-23

    If one is looking for a starter to this heart-tearing masterpiece, I suggest My Dinner With Andre from 1981. Another movie from which you get a feeling of having read a good book. Very few films render that feeling, but these two do. Where to start describing the bouquet of feelings this masterpiece has caused in me? A good point is admiration for Nicole Kidman's mix of wit, grace, innocence scented with beauty that, as the film evolves, turns into a thick film, a pellicle of suffering and enduring, glued together with forgiveness. I do not wish to believe that those qualities can be displayed credibly without the actress actually possessing them ( :) ? ) From the point Chuck takes advantage of Grace the first time, I couldn't stop occasional shivers the just-observed caused me, so much it touched. The conclusion can be drawn after watching the film: one cannot know his/her true nature unless given a real ungoverned power over another living being. They all seem nice in the beginning. The power and a sense of opportunity of free use only amplify themselves in Dogvillians. The evil seed in Chuck spreads among all the dogs, or were they all evil a priori? Artificial settings? One stage? Please! They are forgotten in 10 minutes. As all true works of art, this thing glows from the inside, it doesn't need a vivid facade. Long movie? I would have liked to see maybe an even longer one, but it would have probably put me into even sadder mood watching the ugliness killing the grace. Indeed, Tom, a great illustration of the fact that humans haven't changed from the medieval or perhaps even more primitive times - still dismissing the truth about themselves as lies, the truth that only very few of them are unselfish, decent in terms of morale and even 1 cm away from the animal desires for flesh. Grace concludes that she wouldn't have been much better had she been born in Dogville. I disagree - one can be no matter how poor but still cultured, at list on a microlevel of one person, on a macroscale culture of course doesn't develop without having material funds at its foundation. Then a human raises his head from a plug and looks up in the sky, and connects with Love, and then the decency is born in him/her as a little fire that can't be put out by any amount of torture inflicted upon her/him. The decency can also be transferred from a parent to a child. Dogville got what it deserved, in the end, justice comes in and flushes the inner hollowness created by co-suffering with Grace, heals the pain. Thank you, Lars, and thank you, Nicole, this work is engraved into my mind for a lifetime.

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