Movies: Empty Set, Plot to Match

Dogville is a fascinating experiment, but it fails to produce any breakthrough in entertainment

Actors are weird. It's part of their job description. What other trade compels a person to travel halfway around the world, get up at 5 a.m. each day, dress and talk funny, gain or lose 40 lbs. and make simulated love or war with a near stranger? The decamillions that movie stars pull down may amount to combat pay. And if they do it for next to nothing--well, that's either noble or very ... weird.

In these terms, a Lars von Trier movie is a dream-nightmare come true. And Nicole Kidman, who not only endured but also apparently savored her 17-month...

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