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Dogville (2004)

Nicole Kidman , Paul Bettany , Lars von Trier  |  R |  DVD
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (445 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Nicole Kidman, Paul Bettany, Lauren Bacall, Harriet Andersson, Jean-Marc Barr
  • Directors: Lars von Trier
  • Writers: Lars von Trier
  • Producers: Anja Grafers, Bettina Brokemper, Els Vandevorst, Gillian Berrie, Jonas Frederiksen
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: August 24, 2004
  • Run Time: 178 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (445 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002DB52M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,345 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dogville" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Nicole Kidman, Lauren Bacall, James Caan. A woman on the run from gangsters hides out in the small village of Dogville, but the welcoming townspeople soon discover her dangerous secret that threatens to unravel their idyllic landscape. 2003/color/177 min/NR/widescreen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
171 of 197 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars LONG BUT WORTH IT (AND IT'S NOT ANTI-AMERICAN!) April 3, 2004
Von Trier has never been to America and has been known to have said that he is afraid to visit the U.S. With this in mind, it seems a little audacious if not viciously self-indulgent to make a film about the ugliness of human nature set in an American village.
Critics have pounced on this feature of the movie, accusing von Trier of anti-Americanism. I feel such paranoid jibes completely miss the point: although Dogville is set in a fictional village in the Rockies during the Depression-era, it really could be any place, any time. It is anti-human-ugliness. The tagline reads "A quiet little town not far from here", and the sparse stage set reinforces that point. The viewer's imagination is meant to fill in the gaps, making Dogville their home town for nearly three hours.
The theme veers around Grace (Nicole Kidman) arrives, seeking shelter from pursuing gangsters, the natives are reluctant to help. With the assistance of a local 'philosopher' (played by Paul Bettany), she eventually persuades the inhabitants to relent, and they grant her a two week trial period. During the fortnight, she manages to win the villagers over by performing good deeds, but gradually they begin to take advantage of her kindness and the rot sets in.
This is an extremely long film, but it is definitely worth the effort. It is an allegory of staggering proportions, it deals with virtually every aspect of humanity and some of the most fundamental questions people can face, whilst maintaining a lightness of touch that makes the mental workout more than bearable. Did it have to be 3 hours? No. But nor did the Matrix or LOTR or the Titanic.
So empty the tank, order a pizza and coke, and settle down for 180 minutes of cinematic genius.
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48 of 56 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
I've gone back and forth between thinking that this film is incredibly sick and incredibly brilliant. I still can't make up my mind, so all I can say is that is the most unique film I have ever seen: a very sick and amazing film, showing the darkness of the human heart when there are no rules to protect its victim. It starts out very slow, but gets good after 30 minutes (it is nearly 3 hours long). The violence of this film surpasses Pulp Fiction, but in a much more subtle way (if I was to say any more I would give the whole film away). The symbolism is worthy of analysis...a film student could write for days about what they see in this film...and afterwards, your mind will be racing and trying to make sense of it all. This is, in my opinion, the best work Nicole Kidman has ever done.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stunning, Visceral, Cerebral Gem of a Film! August 26, 2004
Format:DVD
DOGVILLE is unlike almost any film you will see. Writer Director Lars von Trier once again has dared to pry open the truths concealed by conventional facades to examine the human condition, the plight of human survival in a world populated by intimidated individuals who only define their public identity by affiliating/identifying with the Norm. In so many ways this story with a Prologue and Nine Chapters is a morality play ad as such it is piercingly poignant and superbly constructed. This film is a minimalist film: the 'sets' are diagrammed lines on the floor, the props are spare, the action all taking lace on a sound stage that appears like a Joseph Cornell box.

The Depression Years in America, a time of gangsters, poverty and minimal communication of world events to the tiny towns on the Midwest. Dogville is a rural small town in the Midwest peopled by what appear to be good folk. Into this scene enters a beautiful girl on the run Grace (a luminous Nicole Kidman) who seems to be in flight from gangsters. The town's philosopher Tom (Paul Bettany in an extraordinary performance) finds Grace, hides her in the town's mineshaft (over the door is the inscription 'Speak the Truth'...), and convinces the townsfolk to harbor her. In exchange for this kindness Grace must do some work for each of them everyday as a gesture of good will. When the police come looking for Grace later, the townsfolk still protect her but the price is doubling the amount of work she must do in reparation. Slowly this town of kind appearing folk become wary of Grace, start lies about her, abuse her sexually and physically, and eventually fetter her as their prisoner.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Ambiguous Experience. July 12, 2006
Format:DVD
I'm uncertain what to make of 'Dogville'. It is a movie that seems to consider secondary the accepted devices of conventional filmmaking - such as a varying pace, acceptable length, or even a fully realised set - in favour of inviting the audience solely to accept its ideas and characters. It dispenses entirely with the accepted visual and aural elements of cinema - after all, there is no background music and everything occurs in a single black space, using sparse props and only chalk outlines for buildings. This means that 'enjoying' the movie conventionally is a difficult if not impossible experience because we must endure these directorial choices and focus instead upon what the narrative suggests. In short, if you're unwilling to invest some thought into 'Dogville' then there's little reason to watch it, because this movie rests completely upon its performances and assumptions of human nature.

However, it's interesting to note how quickly we can become accustomed to the terms the movie sets out for us. In spite of the invariably slow pace that the movie insists upon to draw out its narrative, what initially might have seemed jarring in the absence of background music and the use of a single set is quickly accepted and, by the end of the movie, these conventions are barely missed. This is primarily because of the strength of the performances throughout, and it is the credibility of the moral decay of the town's inhabitants that ensures the audience's interest. However, it is perhaps also unfortunately true that very few of the characters seem to exist for their own sake.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
This is the kind of movie destined to get mostly 5 or 1 star reviews. Personally, I loved it. Dogville tested my patience and my endurance, my willingness to bear witness to... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Jonathon
1.0 out of 5 stars Turned it off almost immediately
Pretentious and boring. I hated it from the very beginning. The concept of mapping the town building with lines instead of walls seemed like a very bad avant garde production. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Richard T. Kane
1.0 out of 5 stars awful
I can't believe this was ever made into a movie. It just dragged on and on in the beginning with this fake play thing describing what is happening. Read more
Published 3 days ago by jeanie Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars "The purpose of art is provocation..." Lars Trier
From the Brechtian inversion of stage and cinematic space, Lars lulls you into false security. In spite of minimal scenery (houses are either chalk outlines or empty facades)... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Julie Pagitt
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant work
To understand this movie is the same as to understand the classical music or brilliants' shining, it is not given to everyone... especially, in out age of mass media trash...
Published 4 days ago by Kirill
1.0 out of 5 stars Sick
Sick! Maybe it's a good message, but too long and distressing. There are better ways to get the message across.
Published 4 days ago by Judith S. Hardy
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time.
A very depressing movie. I would not waste my time. I kept watching because I just had to know the ending. Sad.
Published 5 days ago by Flying Panther
1.0 out of 5 stars I hated it
i fell sleep each of the 3 times I started watching the movie ... that says it all .... too slow
Published 5 days ago by hero439
1.0 out of 5 stars Depressing
Depressing to say the very least. Depressing. Depressing. Depressing. Depressing. Sad. Sad. Sad. Depressing depressing even Prozac wouldn't help this sad story
Published 6 days ago by Ted C. Peugh
4.0 out of 5 stars A slow but interesting movie about human nature
Too long but definitely watch through the ending. The simple backdrop (essentially a filmed play) adds to the focus on the many negatives of the human condition.
Published 6 days ago by Kenneth A. Schild
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Is it acceptable to let children watch adults have sex?
Yes
Jun 30, 2007 by Alex Ferdman |  See all 2 posts
You had sex in front of children in this movie.
First, let's be honest here, this was not a sex scene, this was a scene where a woman is raped. There is a difference. Second, it was two actors acting a rape scene. This was not a case of two "actual" adults having "actual" sex in front of children. There is a difference.... Read more
Aug 12, 2006 by Peter Wood |  See all 17 posts
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