Dogville | EW.com

Movies

Nicole Kidman, Dogville

(Dogville: © Lion?s Gate)

”It’s very strange and unusual and took a lot out of me,” says Nicole Kidman of director Lars von Trier’s latest devastating drama – part 1 of a planned trilogy – which casts her as a mysterious woman who moves to a small Rocky Mountain town whose initially welcoming residents prove anything but. ”I’m glad I went into von Trier world, but it was difficult.” It may also be difficult for audiences: The three-hour film includes brutal scenes of rape and murder, takes place on a stark soundstage, and features minimal props. ”I think this kind of abstract simplicity is something we need right now,” says the director. ”It’s like a vitamin…. Films look very much alike now.” (The next two installments will look even more different: After ”Dogville”’s divided reception at Cannes last year, Kidman dropped out of part 2 and was replaced by Ron Howard’s daughter Bryce Dallas Howard.) Von Trier’s producers and distributors, meanwhile, lobbied for a two-hour cut of ”Dogville,” but to no avail. ”I’m the type, as you can imagine, that whatever I’m told to do, I will not do,” he says. ”They should have asked me to make a four-hour version!”

Originally posted February 17 2004 — 12:00 AM EST

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