out of 4
All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review
Review by Steve Rhodes
1 star out of 4
Running a painfully long three hours, DOGVILLE is pretentious with a capital
"P." It is an art house picture by writer/director Lars von Trier, who burst
into international acclaim with his shaky-cam classic, BREAKING THE WAVES, but
whose big follow-up picture, DANCER IN THE DARK, made both best and worst of
the year lists, sometimes in the same publication.
Told in an exaggerate blend of "Our Town" sparseness and a middle school play's
cheapness, the movie takes place exclusively on a large stage which has
stenciled names ("Dog," "Bushes, "Old Mine," etc.) on the floor where the sets
would be in a normal movie. The top-notch cast (Nicole Kidman, Lauren Bacall,
Paul Bettany, Blair Brown, James Caan, Patricia Clarkson, Jeremy Davies, Ben
Gazzara and Philip Baker Hall) are all wasted save John Hurt who provides the
beautifully sonorous narration. The only other good part of the production is
the dreamy classical music.
The central character of this glacially paced film is Grace (Kidman), a
fugitive with alabaster hands who comes to take refuge in the small town of
Dogville. Tom Edison (Bettany) gets his fellow townsfolk to agree, albeit
reluctantly, to let her stay there for a few weeks.
This tedious movie will put most ticket-paying customers to sleep, no matter
how many critics continue to sing its praises like it's a masterpiece. It's
also pretty irritating. After a while I got to thinking that, if Tom were to
open and shut one more non-existent door, I'd puke.
DOGVILLE runs a ridiculously long 2:57. It is rated R for "violence and sexual
content" and would be acceptable for older teenagers.
Copyright © 2004 Steve Rhodes
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