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Dancer in the Dark (2000)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Musical  |  6 October 2000 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 74,479 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 687 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.


(as Lars Von Trier)


(as Lars Von Trier)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 32 wins & 43 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Oldrich Novy
Linda Houston
Vladica Kostic ...
Gene Jezkova
Brenda (as Siobhan Fallon)
District Attorney
Reathel Bean ...
Mette Berggreen ...


Selma has emigrated with her son from Central Europe to America. The year is 1964. Selma works day and night to save her son from the same disease she suffers from, a disease that inevitably will make her blind. But Selma has the energy to live because of her secret! She loves musicals. When life feels tough she can pretend that she is in the wonderful world of musicals...just for a short moment. All happiness life is not able to give her she finds there... Written by Fredrik Klasson <fredrik.klasson@telia.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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


Crime | Drama | Musical

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:


Release Date:

6 October 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bailando en la oscuridad  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$12,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$63,858 (Norway) (8 September 2000)


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In her September 2005 book "Close Up and Personal", Catherine Deneuve writes of the difficulties of filming this movie. Despite some initial misgivings (filming of the musical scene in the factory was "disordered", and film preparations ran late) Deneuve decided that things would be professional, as Lars von Trier knew what he wanted to do and people would follow his lead. Later, however, she says she realized there was no point asking von Trier to explain her character further, because she didn't have many scenes. Deneuve's account makes it clear both Von Trier and Björk were difficult to work with, but she also comments that she enjoyed the experience, while not making real connections. See more »


When Bill tells Selma he has no money, Selma's hair repeatedly switches from being over her ears, to being tucked behind them. See more »


Jeff: [referring to Gene] Why did you have him? You knew he would have the same disease as you.
Selma: I just wanted to hold a little baby.
See more »


Referenced in Chicago (2002) See more »


Written by Björk, Sjón Sigurdsson & Lars von Trier
Performed by Björk & Siobhan Fallon Hogan
Arranged by Björk & Vincent Mendoza
Orchestrated & Conducted by Vincent Mendoza
Produced by Björk & Mark Bell
Mixed by Mark Stent (as Mark "Spike" Stent)
Published by Universal Music & Copyright Control
See more »

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User Reviews

Experimental, jarring, beautiful
8 October 2000 | by (Fairfax, Virginia, USA) – See all my reviews

Dancer in the Dark haunted me. This film was an amazing view into the human mind as well as a tragic story of hopeless hope, betrayal by others, and still remaining true to yourself. Bjork produces an inspirational performance, of which one would never think she is not primarily an actress. Some of her moments in this film bring you to tears with their absolute honesty. The ensemble cast are a godsend as well. Peter Stormare, Catherine Denevue, and David Morse in particular. Morse, playing the most varied and difficult character, succeeds with apparent ease. The only complaint I had of the film is that it was slightly drawn out and slow paced. However, it is still spiked with moments of surprise that knock you so hard, you are pulled back in immediately. With an incredible closeness to these people, Dancer in the Dark will make you think and stretch your emotions to the limit.

49 of 75 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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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