The epithet used most often to depict Danish auteur Lars von Trier is ‘provocateur’. Because of it, or perhaps even despite it, his most defining feature, for me, is that I find each movie of his as unique, as daring and as distinct as his other movies that I've watched. Yes, in Dogvilletoo there’s a woman suffering at the hands of her tormentors/ circumstances as in his Breaking the Waves, Dancer in the Dark or Antichrist. What sets this epic film apart are the stripped-off art décor and set pieces that have given the movie the look, feel, aesthetics and character of a stage play; so does the narrative, which has employed extended, at times rambling, but downright brilliant voiceover of John Hurt, coupled with the deliberately theatrical acting of the terrific cast – Nicole Kidman, Paul Bettany, Stellan Skarsgard et al, to tell the downbeat, philosophical, provocative and Biblical story of societal hypocrisy and double standards. Nicole Kidman, as Grace, an enigmatic woman on the run who seeks refuge in Dogville, a small mining-town in Depression-eraAmerica, doesn’t just look ravishingly beautiful, but also fragile and vulnerable, in one of the most nuanced performances of her career. Pictures of that tragic era, shown during the end credits, are extremely evocative.
Director: Lars von Trier Genre: Drama/Psychological Drama/Avant-Garde/Experimental Film Language: English Country: Denmark