8.0/10
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696 user 127 critic

Dancer in the Dark (2000)

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

Director:

(as Lars Von Trier)

Writer:

(as Lars Von Trier)
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2,992 ( 256)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 33 wins & 46 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Linda Houston
Vladica Kostic ...
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Samuel
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Brenda (as Siobhan Fallon)
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Dr. Porkorny
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Morty
Reathel Bean ...
Judge
Mette Berggreen ...
Receptionist
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Storyline

1964 in small town Washington state. Selma Jezková, a Czechoslovakian immigrant, and her preteen son Gene live in a rented trailer owned by and on the property of married Bill and Linda Houston, he the town sheriff. Beyond Bill and Linda, Selma has a small group of friends who look out for her, including her primary confidante, Kathy, with who she works, and Jeff who wants to be her boyfriend. Jeff regularly waits outside Selma's workplace long before the end of her shift to drive her home, despite she always refusing in not wanting to lead him on. Her primary job is working on the Anderson Tool factory assembly line, but she does whatever she can to earn money. What only Kathy knows among Selma's friends is that she is slowly going blind, her medical condition being genetic. Selma is barely able to see, just enough to do her job. Her primary reason for moving to the US and for working all the time is to earn enough money for an operation for Gene when he turns thirteen, he who ... Written by Huggo

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:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$103,102 (Denmark), 10 September 2000, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$91,612, 24 September 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,184,036, 22 December 2000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$40,031,879, 18 July 2001
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While known among DV filmmakers as being filmed with anamorphic lenses to obtain a 2.35:1 aspect ratio, this is not entirely true; anamorphic lenses were only used on the infamous "100 cameras" for the musical numbers. The rest of the film (along with close-ups in the musical numbers) was shot with a larger camera in 16x9, which was then cropped to the final 2.35:1 aspect ratio. See more »

Goofs

When Bill's police-issue pistol is first seen, it is a revolver (likely a .38 snub). However, when we see his gun again later in the film, it is a semi-automatic M1911, which is not a revolver. While both types of weapons were used by the police of the time, Bill is only mentioned as having one pistol, his standard-issue one from the police force, and is never mentioned as having two handguns. See more »

Quotes

Selma: You like the movies, don't you?
Bill Houston: I love the movies. I just love the musicals.
Selma: But isn't it annoying when they do the last song in the films?
Bill Houston: Why?
Selma: Because you just know when it goes really big... and the camera goes like out of the roof... and you just know it's going to end. I hate that. I would leave just after the next to last song... and the film would just go on forever.
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Connections

Referenced in Tékás (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

So Long, Farewell
Written by Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II
Williamson Music
Performed by Björk
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User Reviews

 
Standing up for those that HATE this film
8 August 2002 | by See all my reviews

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But with a movie like DANCER IN THE DARK, it's very easy to get the sense that those who didn't like it are simple-minded sour-pusses with artistic tunnel vision.

Plus, most people who hated it don't take the time to write a comment. Why waste another second of your life on this dreck?

I'd like to congratulate everyone who has the guts to trash this film. It is not entertaining. It is founded on characters who make ridiculous decisions to facilitate melodramatic story points. It plays to the weaknesses of every one of its participants.

Some of the comments can be paraphrased like this: "I like a film that causes such intense reactions, good and bad." If a film isn't good, why in the world would we indulge the amateur auteurs who created it? This means Lars Von Trier will be encouraged to make MORE horrible films!

Being forced to watch Bjork act is like being forced to listen to Anna Nicole Smith play the saxaphone. Why can't we let people who were trained to act do their job? Bjork vacillates between a caricature of her weird childish stage persona and a poster-child for OverActing 101 (especially the prison scenes).

Selma, as a character, is by turns stubborn, stupid, unreasonable and selfish. Not a very good candidate for a martyr. David Morse's Bill, the antagonist, goes from benevolent protector to psychopath on the thinnest of motivations. Peter Stormare practically drools to show how stupid he is when he is wooing Bjork. It's a condescending repulsive love story.

Part of me wants to not submit this comment, because in the end, the film isn't worth this much thought. But if everyone thought this way, the comments would be overwhelmingly positive. And I can't believe that that is representative of the audience reaction to this film.

Unless you have a high tolerance for arthouse highbrow crap, don't see this movie. It's a waste of your time.

1/10


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