The accusation that von Trier is a misogynist should be dismissed as slanderous nonsense by anyone who has seen this film.
It is a powerful denunciation of oppression of all kinds (and a satire of the mental gymnastics and hypocrisy of the intellectual apologists who would defend this oppression), a pessimistic morality tale, a raging cry of righteous indignation at the plight of the victimized, a mockery of the self-righteous tyrannical, a condemnation of masochistic pacifism and learned helplessness. All…
Worth seeing for the performances of Joaquin Phoenix, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and a very good Amy Adams - who deserves an Oscar for supporting actress - alone.
The contrast between Freddie Quell (Phoenix) and Lancaster Dodd (Hoffman), the dual nature of their personalities, is used to examine the nature of the master-servant relationship in society, the impulse to and appeal of cult.
This is the kind of movie that needs to be viewed more than once in order to fully…