Film, Drama

Time Out says

Ambitious, intriguing but fatally self-important account of how an archetypal small town in the Rockies, proud of its ethics, turns against a woman (Kidman) apparently on the run from a gangster, notwithstanding the efforts of a free thinking liberal (Bettany). As a study in the social, psychological and philosophical dimensions of hypocrisy and intolerance, it pounds home its somewhat obvious points. As an exercise in Brechtian distanciation - there's a narration, with echoes of Thornton Wilder, beautifully intoned by John Hurt, and it's all shot in a studio empty of everything except a few basic props - it's gimmicky and never brought to a fruitful conclusion. And as drama it's repetitive and overlong. That said, the performances are strong, and the final scene, with its Capone the Father and Christ the Daughter associations equating the Land of Freedom with Sodom and Gomorrah, has an infectiously wicked glee that almost redeems the preceding portentousness.


Release details

178 mins

Cast and crew

Lars von Trier
Lars von Trier
John Hurt
Philip Baker Hall
Lauren Bacall
Udo Kier
Paul Bettany
Blair Brown
Stellan Skarsgård
Nicole Kidman
Ben Gazzara
Chloë Sevigny
James Caan
Jean-Marc Barr
Harriet Andersson
You may also like