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Dancer in the Dark (2000)

 -  Crime | Drama | Musical  -  6 October 2000 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 65,368 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 677 user | 175 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

An east European girl goes to America with her young son, expecting it to be like a Hollywood film.

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(as Lars Von Trier)

Writer:

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 29 wins & 39 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Oldrich Novy
...
Linda Houston
Vladica Kostic ...
Gene Jezkova
...
Norman
...
Samuel
...
Brenda
...
District Attorney
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...
Morty
Reathel Bean ...
Judge
Mette Berggreen ...
Receptionist
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Storyline

Selma Jeskova is an immigrant from East Europe living in America, who works in a factory as a worker. She is a sweet and naive person and love musicals. She has a degenerative disease and is becoming blind. She works hard, including in the night shift, to save all the money she can get to permit her son Gene to be submitted to an eyes surgery when he reaches thirteen years old. Her unique entertainment is the theater, where she rehearses 'The Sound of Music' at night, and going to the movie theater with her best friend and colleague Kathy. Selma lives in a trailer rented by Bill Houston and his wife Linda. Bill is a police officer, who spends more than he earns, to satisfy the requests of his beloved wife. One day, Bill finds where Selma keeps her money and steals her. A tragedy happens when she claims her money back. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You don't need eyes to see. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Musical

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Language:

Release Date:

6 October 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bailando en la oscuridad  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$12,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$80,652 (Netherlands) (27 October 2000)

Gross:

ESP 290,047,040 (Spain) (29 June 2001)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer-director Lars von Trier's first draft screenplay was called "Taps" and featured tap dancing in every scene. Choreographer Vincent Paterson convinced von Trier that it would be far too difficult, if not impossible, to teach something as "technical" as tap dancing to Björk and the other cast members within a reasonable period of time. Von Trier rewrote the screenplay so that the songs would be more in the style of "traditional" Hollywood musicals, but retained some of the tap-dancing motif with the character of Oldrich Novy. See more »

Goofs

Even though Selma is from Czechoslovakia, her accent is not Czech nor Slovak. See more »

Quotes

Jeff: You can't see, can you?
Selma: What is there to see?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sal de Prata (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

SO LONG, FAREWELL
Written by Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II
Williamson Music
Performed by Björk
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Movie To Break Your Heart
23 August 2000 | by (Helsinki, Finland) – See all my reviews

It feels awkward to attempt to put Dancer in the Dark into words. Von Trier's film is one of those movies that truly change the way we think about cinema and its possibilities, and for such a film, words do no justice. Dancer in the Dark centers around Selma (Björk), a factory worker, who loves her 10-year-old son above everything else in the world. Selma is a happy, innocent creature who enjoys musicals for "nothing bad ever happens in them". These elements (mother's love for her son, joyfulness of musicals versus the hardships of every day life) create a whole unlike anything ever seen on silver screen. Selma is rapidly losing her eye sight, but not her vision: she's the 'dancer in the dark' who is prepared to sacrifice herself to keep the light in her child's eyes. Very early on it becomes obvious that this story can't have a happy ending. However, once you've accepted it, you can put your mind at ease and see the film as it unfolds from Selma's point of view. And what a view it is! Björk gives a performance of a life time - this little woman with a huge voice is all emotion all the time without ever appearing overtly dramatic or cheaply sentimental. There's no weak link in the rest of the cast either, Peter Stormare as Jeff, Catherine Deneuve as Kathy and Siobhan Fallon as the prison guard to name but a few. The biggest star is still the director himself; von Trier demonstrates his talent in a superb fashion by both telling a simple story that will most likely break you heart and examining the ever-persistent ills of the life of the lower class of the American society. What about the film's musical character then? This is where von Trier triumphs the most by understanding the very essence of the whole genre - hope; hope that will live in our soul for ever if we'll only follow our heart.


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Message Boards

Recent Posts
Just awful rob-asbell
Selma is a murderer with a low IQ, I feel sorry for her orphan nickymelnar
Most depressing movie I have ever seen. PerceptiveGal
Did anyone NOT cry?... justsomerandomirrelevantweirdo
Not convinced by Bjorks acting abilities tallbird50
view of America richee-1
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