Dogville 2003 ***

Writer/director Lars von Trier created a vivid theatrical experience in this 2003 drama, with Nicole Kidman as Grace, a woman who stumbled unannounced into the Rocky Mountain’ township of Dogville. Rather than use (or simulate) real locations, von Trier sets the action on a stage set, adding a layer to theatricality that’s initially distracting, but strong performances from Kidman and a cast including Paul Bettany, James Caan, Lauren Bacall quickly establish the feel of the small Colorado town. Dogville’s hefty 174 minutes take their time in establishing how Grace relates to the community, but there’s a devastating twist at the end that elevates this claustrophobic chamber piece into the realms of high art.


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