I thought I liked films before I saw "Dogville." I didn't (and still don't) have a super deep filmography on which to discuss and compare movies, but I knew that I liked movies and I had seen quite a few, including a lot of "arty" films. And then I saw "Dogville."
Probably one of the best done films I've ever seen. Brilliantly bizarre; terrible and fascinating all at the same time. The simplicity in which is was set and decorated reminded me of sitting in Mrs. Tufts's 5th grade class while she read "Summer of the Monkeys" to us, and I had to imagine what was going on in the novel. I've never had that experience in a movie until Dogville.
I think "Dogville's" brilliance is it's constant character development. We are immediately suspcious of all of Dogville's residents, and then we begin to really like them, and then love them when they finally accept Kidman's character to their town. And then every single one of them betrays our trust as Kidman is forced to endure every possible violation by every single resident. My heart broke for her as she was riding in the back of the truck to get out of town and the driver forces himself upon her for a "surcharge" for transporting a dangerous load, and then she only ends up back in town to endure further persecution.
But oh the glory when each one meets a violent and scary death. My favorite line from the story (as I'm sure is many people's) is when she tells the gunman, "Shoot her kids. If she doesn't cry, let her live."