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Dogville illustrates humanity’s flaws

Dogville is a drastically experimental film that would not typically garner critical acclaim. With a minimal set consisting mainly of a chalk outline and the only special effects being creative camera work, Dogville is one of 2004’s strongest dramas.

The DVD package is sparsely packaged, with just a commentary and the film’s theatrical trailers.

Dogville is a stripped film that its ensemble cast carries for nearly three hours.

The movie boasts Nicole Kidman’s best performance since her Oscar-winning turn in 2002’s The Hours. Kidman perfectly captures Grace’s emotionless view of the world while having an undeniable hope in humanity.

Surrounding Kidman is a very talented supporting cast that pushes viewers to discover the dark, demented side of the small community.

In a town where justice is blind and people hide their imperfections, Grace becomes Dogville’s lightning rod.

Grace, is run out of the city and mistakenly finds herself in the small town of Dogville, exploring the depths of human nature. The residents are hesitant at first, but slowly warm up to Grace.

The town’s seemingly generous offer to harbor Grace is the viewer’s first sign that there’s still good left in humanity. But that good begins to erode with the town’s unwillingness to see Grace as an equal.

Rather, they consider her nothing more than a house cleaner, a labor worker and, for most of the townsmen, an object of desire. When the town becomes weary of the stranger, they opt to turn her into the gangster that ran her out in the beginning. The citizens of Dogville had no idea what consequences would come from their decision.

The DVD is completely barren. An insightful commentary is bundled with the film, which offers interesting character bits from director Lars von Trier.

Dogville can be viewed as a social commentary on good intentions slowly morphs into dark obessesion that brings out the worst in humanity.

Dogville may be one of the finest pieces of cinema this year, but its release does nothing to help this lost film find its audience among curious shoppers.