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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 66,521 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 677 user | 177 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)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 35 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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although this film is advertised as a musical, the first musical number doesn't appear until 40 minutes into the film. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Jeff: I don't understand. In musicals, why do they start to sing and dance all of a sudden? I mean, I don't suddenly start... to sing and dance.
See more »

Connections

References Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

NEXT TO LAST SONG
Written by Björk, Sjón Sigurdsson & Lars von Trier
Performed by Björk
Published by Universal Music & Copyright Control
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An extraordinary, quietly exploding film - a fantasy and musical, it emanates with human spirits
20 October 2000 | by (sf, usa) – See all my reviews

This is distinguishably different from the general Hollywood films or independent projects. It's not like anything done before. LARS VON TRIER, and BJORK, simply blow your mind away: such totality in delivery!

It's gut wrenching - an absorbing tearjerker - but not sentimental. It is in strong doses. (NFE: it may not be for everyone.) The theatre audience was very quiet with occasional sniffing heard. The film may be a fantasy, yet there are subtle jabs at certain social norms and contains hints at how we treat life and lead life.

Bjork made it natural, innocent, and naively good. It is all Bjork matter: she is feeling all the joy and pain and daydreaming, saying all those words, singing all those songs, and dancing along to the music she so ingeniously composed. Lars von Trier once again wrote and delivered a 100% powerful film. He packs all kinds of emotions into 2 hrs. and 20 mins.: from the endearing friendship of two working women Kathy and Selma; to the faithful loving pursuit of Jeff for Selma; to the quiet exchanges of seemingly trusting souls of Bill and Selma; to Selma's son, Bill's wife, the crime, the court, the prison's loneliness within; the anguish pain of a determined mother; and the integrated mood changing musical numbers in-between. One scene of Bjork lying motionless with just one finger moving with quiet sobbing heard is powerful imagery.

Catherine Deneuve as Kathy is well at ease in her supporting role. She continues to exude her charm quietly. You can tell she thoroughly enjoys the company she's in at this production. Musical-wise, Deneuve is no stranger: besides "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" 1964 - every word in the film was sung, I also remember Jacques Demy's "The Young Girls of Rochefort" 1967 - she danced and sang with her sister Francoise Dorleac, along with Gene Kelly, Michel Piccoli and George Chakiris.

David Morse as Bill (the policeman and neighbor) reminds me of what a memorable performance he delivered in Sean Penn's "The Crossing Guard" 1995 opposite Jack Nicholson and Robin Wright. 'tis great to see Joel Grey dancing again (hm, in the most improbable setting!)

For a 5' 4'' singer-songwriter from Iceland, Bjork is a giant impact in this quiet powerhouse of a film, "Dancer In the Dark." Lars von Trier's vision and confidence in Bjork truly paid off!


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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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