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Dogville ★★½ 2003 (R)

Another “love it or hate it” offering from director von Trier brings us yet another troubled woman, Grace (Kidman), who is on the run from mobsters and picks Dogville (a made-up U.S. locale) to hide out, even offering up free labor to the townsfolk in return for their silence. But things go south for her as she is persecuted and eventually they do an about-face and consider ratting her out for a hefty reward…though she's savvy enough to fight back. Set during the Depression and filmed on a minimalist set similar to the Thorton Wilder classic “Our Town,” though the two stories are complete contradictions The Danish von Trier may be perceived as hateful toward the American way of life, whereas many will find his latest effort to be a memorably appalling, thought-provoking tale with Kidman flourishing in the challenging lead role. 178m/C DVD . DK NL SW FR NO FI GE IT Nicole Kidman, Lauren Bacall, Paul Bettany, Philip Baker Hall, Blair Brown, James Caan, Patricia Clarkson, Jeremy Davies, Ben Gazzara, Siobhan Fallon, Zeljko Ivanek, Udo Kier, Harriet Andersson, Jean-Marc Barr, Thom Hoffman, Bill Raymond, Chloe Sevigny, Stellan Skarsgard; D: Lars von Trier; W: Lars von Trier; C: Anthony Dod Mantle; Nar: John Hurt.