Dogville - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Dogville Reviews

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½ June 21, 2018
Von Trier's tedious torture of the heroine would be thought provoking if it actually served a broader artistic narrative or if the film at least felt like it was going some where. Since it doesn't, Von Trier asks us to forgive his malicious cynisism so that we may simply gawk at his novel approach. Von Trier's contempt for his characters could only be matched by his pretentious contempt for his audience.
June 20, 2018
Excellent story is no less marvellous plainly set.
May 21, 2018
There's a perennial question, about the artist whose choices in their personal life are so unspeakably bad that they contaminate appreciation of their art, that is increasingly relevant (or in the news) today. However, I'm not sure a distinction can be made when it comes to Lars von Trier, whose choices in the artworks themselves are so questionable, even despicable, that the fact that he might also be a jerk personally seems beside the point. His latest film at Cannes drove over 100 people out of the theatre because of its extreme violence toward women and children (and this, after he was only just allowed back to the festival when his banishment for appreciating Hitler ended). His cultivated image is of "the provocateur" but he seems more of a poseur to me. So, why did I give Dogville a chance? Perhaps because of its reputation as an experimental film, with its sparse warehouse set, representing a small Colorado town with just a few pieces of lumber and some chalk outlines for houses on the floor (think Our Town). That's about all I knew. As the film began and I found out that John Hurt narrates the entire film, alternating with some spoken dialogue from the characters, I found it sufficiently intriguing to keep watching. Nicole Kidman plays a woman, fleeing from mobsters, who takes shelter in the town. They have a community vote to decide whether to let her stay (after a two week trial where she works for each family to try to impress them). Of course, she does get to stay but as the mobsters and the police close the dragnet, the "costs" of keeping her in the town and the price the townsfolk demand from Kidman increases. Eventually, Kidman becomes the target of abuse, since she isn't from there. So, misogyny charges against von Trier are more or less fulfilled (again). Kidman said she wouldn't work with him again to boot. And it isn't quite clear where the experiment took us (the viewers) -- some read this as "anti-American" (since von Trier refuses to come to the US) and the use of David Bowie's "Young Americans" over the ending credits seems to bear this out. I saw it as a sadistic game of "chicken", taunting the audience about just how far he was willing to go (to shock), and a sardonic repudiation of Dogme 95 trying to be as artificial as possible, as if to poke a finger in the eye of anyone who bothered to take him seriously back then (when he issued his philosophical filmmaker's manifesto). Although there is no denying that he has a certain degree of artistic know-how, let's hope no one bothers to take von Trier seriously again.
May 5, 2018
Dogville is one of the ultimate feel-bad films I've ever watched and also an intensely challenging drama that doesn't give a damn about your expectations. The story is about a mysterious woman named Grace who seeks refuge in a small Colorado town called Dogville to hide out from gangsters who are searching for her. The townspeople agree to take her in on the condition that she work for them such as a blind man having her describe the sunset, working in the local store, helping take care of an invalid daughter, teaching children, etc. After awhile, Grace is accepted by the townspeople, and grows to love the town itself. However, her happiness is not to last forever as the true natures of the townspeople slowly begin to emerge. It's a harsh, emotionally-crushing film that deals with the ugliest elements of human nature through hypocrisy, lies, violence, and sexual depravity. There will be many who will sneer at this film and call it pretentious and self-indulgent, others will be infuriated by its ugly truths and refusal to cop out (You want happy? You ain't getting it), and others will find it to be a transfixing and challenging drama. As you can see by my rating, I fall into the last category. Dogville is a grim film, but a brilliant film from beginning to end. It's gripping, it's flawlessly acted, it's emotionally devastating, and it will hit you like a kick to the ribs and gut. It's a unique and uncompromising vision that will only have a niche following, but that's among many reasons why I think it's one of the best films of the century. It never takes the easy way out or provides easy answers to its characters or potential viewers - exactly what a drama should be. For that, it's a masterpiece.
½ April 26, 2018
Powerful and highly original. 9/10

Grace is on the run from a criminal gang. She seeks refuge in the small town of Dogville, Colorado. The townspeople help her out, but their assistance comes at a price.

Highly original story-telling from writer-director Lars Von Trier. The entire movie is shot on a basic stage. The entire town is there, with tape on the ground indicating buildings, walls and streets. A very basic setting for a powerful moral.

As the story progresses you see Von Trier's vision - showing the worst instincts of humankind. This he does very successfully and poetically. It's almost Shakespeare-like, especially in how the story is resolved.

Superb end-product, though I can see how the movie can be polarising. I am not generally into movies and directors who concentrate more on being arty than telling a good story. With the novel set, I can see how some people may find the movie pretentious. Personally I found it revolutionary, as it strips everything down to the bare minimum, prop-wise, having to rely entirely on character depth and story-telling. Quite the opposite of pretentious, as there is no style - it's all substance.
February 12, 2018
Can't face watching it for more then 5 minutes. Looks like a boring movie trying to be arty and clever by being boring.
December 30, 2017
Borderline experimental film making.

The pure starkness of the set design really highlight the talent on screen: I don't think I ever cared for Nicole Kidman as an actress until I saw this film.
November 12, 2017
More important as a modern parable than as a cinematographic experiment, Dogville reminds of a simpler and more thoughtful time in film making.
October 30, 2017
definitely interesting concept, some good acting, yet after some time, quite boring or just too long for this type of movie
September 30, 2017
This movie is absolutely horrible
September 8, 2017
Ben tre ore di film sperimentale girato tutto nella stessa stanza, senza cambio di ambientazione o di location. Suona come un'esperienza noiosissima, ed infatti così è stato. Quando è troppo è troppo, non sono riuscito ad apprezzare il film neanche in un istante: trovo che l'idea del regista semplicemente non abbia funzionato, il risultato è un film apatico, vuoto, noioso, pesante, con una morale talmente nascosta che in fin dei conti risulta inconsistente. E' giusto che i registi trovino nuovi modi per emozionare il loro pubblico, ma questo esperimento si è decisamente spinto troppo oltre, offrendoci un film troppo ambizioso e senza anima.
½ September 3, 2017
What it says about arrogance and bad American values is interesting, and I understand its experimentation, but I just wish I could see the actual world around the characters.
September 3, 2017
Dogville is rich with evil interesting characters, but immaterial in the environment presented by Lars von Trier with little to look at other than the characters which is what he wants. It is a long and experimental film which has a lot of room for interpretation and this can either be a fascinating film or a disgusting bore. Although the film is a hard interpretation of humanity what is truly frighting is that we understand where von Trier is coming from and that we might even slightly empathize with his perspective.
July 13, 2017
Dogville might not be my personal favorite, but I wouldn't argue with anyone who said it it's the best movie ever made. It combined everything I love about the theater with everything great about independent films and foreign films. I have forgotten most of the movies I've watched over the past 17 years but I still remember the first time I watched Dogville and the second time I watched it, with my parents, who were scandalized, but of course very enthralled with the allegorical subject matter. It's very long and minimalist but it's very much anti-imperialist America, which is why I liked it. It's classified as an international film since Lars is Danish, the production companies are multiple countries, and the cast is British / American. The movie got pretty savage reviews by the US media, mostly decrying the fact that it was vitriolic, anti-American and bitter. That was one of my coming-of-age moments when I realized most critics don't know what they're talking about. Since when is passion in art a bad thing?

Few films, outside of the torture porn genre, will fill you with as much righteous fury as Dogville. The film is an exceptional allegory for mankind's gross sins against his own people. As much as we would all like to believe that the film is about man's suffering and the injustice of mob mentality, there is one important point we're all missing. This is about your country! Dogville is the harshest criticism of American values I've ever seen and that is strictly because of its allegorical simplicity and G-rated content. This ambiance makes Lars Von Trier's vitriolic commentary seem like a Disney cartoon on crack. Nicole Kidman's performance is brilliantly naive and yet subtle enough to suggest she doesn't know what the movie's about. (She does...she's an Aussie) The many bizarre cameos by American actors just amaze me. (Sonny Corleone, what were you thinking?) Dogville is a triumph of manic depressive, prejudicial rage.

What I Learned: Definitely one of the movies that made me lose faith in humanity. Realizing that your own country is capable of great evil, and that people you trusted are fully capable of exploiting your weakness and your forgiveness, is frightening. I think Dogville is a movie that disillusions you and brings you to a new level of consciousness. Like Kubrick, another influence of mine, I think Lars' voice-his distrust of humanity-is a strong voice in my head I have yet to shake.
June 21, 2017
Dogville is an inventive and daring masterpiece that pulls no punches.
½ May 15, 2017
August 2010: This was an impactful movie. Being filmed on stage was unusual. Little long but ends hard.
April 26, 2017
Its a play, not a movie. Not my kind of thing
April 9, 2017
Seria Grace a representação de Jesus e os moradores da vila a humanidade? Seria o pai de Grace a representação de Deus? Tudo se encaixa e revemos o quão egoísta a humanidade pode ser e que talvez, esteja na hora de sumirmos.
February 28, 2017
Cuando pensamos en que reunir todos los problemas de una decadente sociedad no pueden transmitirse al mismo tiempo en un solo mensaje, pues al parecer puede tratarse de una tarea imposible, Lars von Trier consigue idear un largometraje que recopila todo ello. ¿Quiénes somos realmente?, ¿hacia qué futuro se dirigen los colectivos de occidente?, ¿qué destino nos depara a este ritmo? Von Trier logra contestar todas aquellas incógnitas a través de una obra reveladora de poco más de dos horas: "Dogville"
Narrada a través de una elegante y poética prosa, el personaje de Grace (Nicole Kidman) llega al pequeñísimo poblado de Dogville, huyendo de un grupo de gánsteres, por lo que no tiene otra opción más que alojarse en este lugar, tratando de ganarse la confianza de sus pobladores. Con el tiempo, la aparente amabilidad y gentileza de la población se va transformando hacia algo diferente y muy inesperado. En primer lugar, la película muestra cómo el mal se puede propagar como una plaga en esta comunidad de personas que lucen aceptablemente decentes. "Dogville" nunca pretende ser completamente realista, pues las situaciones mostradas se exageran y también se satirizan. Visto hacia un nivel más profundo, la película es una historia increíblemente oscura que habla de la hipocresía humana, las voluntades y deseos secretos, los crímenes indescriptibles, la culpa incapacitante, y la racionalización del egoísmo. Todo esto es meticulosamente elaborado de forma que uno comprenda directamente que se está hablando de la sociedad misma en la que nos desenvolvemos y la cultura e ideologías que arrastramos. Los temas hacen alusión a todos los problemas que afectan a nuestra enferma y decrépita sociedad y a las que no hacemos mucho caso. Peor aún, todo lo negativo que pasa en nuestro mundo se ve como normal y pasa frente a nosotros de forma inadvertida; somos responsables de lo que pasa y la rutinización e indiferencia ante situaciones vinculadas al abuso de mujeres, discriminación, pobreza, aislamiento, entre otras, agravan aún más el contexto propio.
Como el resto de sus películas, von Trier insiste en que los humanos no somos más que reflejos de nuestro propio ser interno. No importan los discursos ni las ideas que "firmemente" se comparten y discuten ante el mundo, pues al final, las reacciones y decisiones responden a nuestras pasiones y emociones más internas que no son más que la parte más animal e instintiva que todos tenemos.
Sin duda esta es también una de las mejores películas nihilistas que se han trabajado en el cine. Normalmente es fácil detectar rasgos antisociales en las películas de este director, pero en este caso su idea del nihilismo es diferente: sus personajes principales no son nihilistas, sino personas íntegras. El problema es que el mundo entero que los rodea es un vacío cruel e injusto. El director crea una compleja trama psicológica y, para enfocarse en ella él quiere mostrar la omnipresente injusticia de los hombres, situación que está presente en toda sociedad y que la hipocresía no merece ninguna salvación. Dogville presenta un mundo demasiado cruel para cualquier liberación y también la perversidad ocasiona una inevitable desmoralización tanto individual como colectiva, eliminando la importancia hacia los valores y hacia las concepciones que disuaden entre el bien y el mal.
Cínicamente, el castigo corporal y la educación moral estricta son temas de ámbito conservador que se sostienen a lo largo de toda la película, recalcando esta idea de la oscura naturaleza humana, surgiendo conclusiones morales que por muy duras que sean, incómodas y preferibles de evitar, son en realidad verdades que deben tomarse en serio. Von Trier también insiste y es muy efectivo y conciso al momento de describir cómo la gente esconde, suprime, y libera sus celos, deseos sexuales, mala voluntad, y su fetiche moral para el castigo de otros. La película retrata las formas de estas acciones de forma precisa y astuta, y a pesar de que exagera la magnitud de los deseos a niveles poco realistas, sí que incitan a una rígida reflexión, pues todo lo presentado son las verdades indeseables de las que siempre preferimos evadir e ignorar. Por ello mucha de la crítica se siente ofendida y rechaza mucha información de "Dogville", puesto que no acepta lo que ve y no puede reconocerlo, dejándolo hacia un lado por comodidad. La gran creatividad con la que se crea la historia, los lugares, el guión mismo y el haber utilizado a este elenco, en el que cada personaje encierra un interesante conjunto de características referentes a pecados y al cinismo, son elementos cuya implementación no tienen comparación, pues sin duda nadie más que von Trier pudo haber sido capaz de crear una obra de tal magnitud y poder que trasciende ahora y lo seguirá haciendo por mucho tiempo más.
½ December 23, 2016
Von Trier is a genius!
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