Dogville was my first experience of a Lars Von Trier film. Though I had been tempted to see Breaking the Waves due to its critical acclaim, what I knew of the plot sounded too emotionally devastating for my sensibilities. I was thus a little apprehensive about seeing Dogville - I hate cruelty - but the film never really sucked me in emotionally. Maybe it was the minimalist nature of the set; maybe I require more in the way of props and scenery. My empathy for Grace waned as she let herself become more and more of a victim and martyr. Though the cast was excellent, some of the supporting characters never really came alive for me - I kept thinking things like how Lauren Bacall looked good for her age and that Chloe Sevigny must be taking a sabbatical from her New York parties and Vogue appearances. Still, Dogville did hold my interest despite its length. It was well put together and I enjoyed it for what it seemed to be: a morality play about man's inhumanity to man. But, as the credits rolled on and on with distressing and (in the case of the Richard Nixon photo) sickening images to the tune "Young Americans," it dawned on me that Von Trier's vision for the film was not an allegorical tale about mankind in general; it was just another political diatribe against the U.S. It caught me by surprise, and I left the theatre feeling ambushed.
I gave this movie a rating of 3 stars.
Cherry Jensen