A woman on the run from the mob is reluctantly accepted in a small Colorado town. In exchange, she agrees to work for them. As a search visits town, she finds out that their support has a price. Yet her dangerous secret is never far away...
Late one night, a beautiful and well-dressed young woman, Grace, 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, 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. Written by
Paul Bettany, who only took the part of Tom Edison after being convinced by friend Stellan Skarsgård, later called the making of the film "hideous" and "a peculiarly unsatisfying experience because [Lars von Trier] has no interest in you being any part of the cerebral process with him. You're absolutely his puppet." Despite still being a fan of von Trier's films in general, Bettany has never watched the film and has no intention of ever doing so. See more »
Many continuity issues (hats on/off in alternating shots etc) are entirely deliberate. There are a large number of quick cuts throughout the film which serve to disorientate and confuse the viewer. The continuity in these cases is never precise and is as much a part of the final film as the script. See more »
This is the sad tale of the township of Dogville. Dogville was in the Rocky Mountains in the US of A, up here where the road came to its definitive end, near the entrance to the old abandoned silver mine. The residents of Dogville were good honest folks, and they liked their township. And while a sentimental soul from the East Coast had once dubbed their main street Elm Street, though no elm had ever cast its shadow in Dogville, they saw no reason to change anything. Most of the ...
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Initially I found the 'play' set-up gimmicky and disconcerting, however I soon forgot all about the framing and became fixated on the picture itself. There are no special effects nor camera tricks and make-up is kept to a bare minimum, which allows us to focus purely on the story and the quality of the acting; both of which are exemplary. Nicole Kidman is amazing as usual bringing a wonderful vulnerability and frailty to her character which conceals an underlying ruthlessness and brutality. Ample support comes from co-stars Betthany and Chloe Sevigny and in truth the whole cast is frighteningly convincing.
The story is simple, a young woman who it appears is on the run from the mob seeks refuge in a small town known as Dogville. The residents who are initially wary of her soon warm to her and welcome her into their midst. This however, comes with a price she must do small favours in return for refuge. Inevitably greed, desire and mistrust take over the residents which corrupts them and has devastating consequences for all involved.
The dramatic shift in the mentality of the townspeople is so well handled and expertly crafted by Von Trier, that it makes the emotional payoff which one receives at the end of this film even greater. It is utterly compelling and has universal themes. Ultimately, this is a film which may serve as a cautionary tale for all self-proclaimed 'civilised' societies and as a treatise upon karmic retribution.
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