Dogville: © Lion?s Gate
EW Staff
February 17, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

Dogville

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
177 minutes
Limited Release Date
03/26/04
performer
Nicole Kidman, Lauren Bacall, Paul Bettany, Patricia Clarkson, Siobhan Fallon, Ben Gazzara, Philip Baker Hall, Chloë Sevigny, Stellan Skarsgard
director
Lars von Trier
distributor
Lions Gate Films
author
Lars von Trier
genre
Drama

We gave it an A-

”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!”

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