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Dancer in the Dark (2000)

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

Director:

Lars von Trier (as Lars Von Trier)

Writer:

Lars von Trier (as Lars Von Trier)
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Popularity
2,974 ( 62)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 33 wins & 46 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Björk ... Selma Jezkova
Catherine Deneuve ... Kathy
David Morse ... Bill Houston
Peter Stormare ... Jeff
Joel Grey ... Oldrich Novy
Cara Seymour ... Linda Houston
Vladica Kostic Vladica Kostic ... Gene Jezkova
Jean-Marc Barr ... Norman
Vincent Paterson ... Samuel
Siobhan Fallon Hogan ... Brenda (as Siobhan Fallon)
Zeljko Ivanek ... District Attorney
Udo Kier ... Dr. Porkorny
Jens Albinus ... Morty
Reathel Bean Reathel Bean ... Judge
Mette Berggreen 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:

In a world of shadows, she found the light of life. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Musical

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Language:

English | German | Czech

Release Date:

6 October 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bailando en la oscuridad See more »

Filming Locations:

Arlington, Washington, USA See more »

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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lars von Trier originally cast himself as the angry man who chastises Selma (Björk) and Kathy (Catherine Deneuve) in the movie theater. However, due to the contentious on-set relationship between himself and Björk, he feared that he might end up losing control and overacting, so the part went to Michael Flessas instead. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Selma: In a musical, nothing dreadful ever happens.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The film originally contained a song entitled "141 Steps"; however, after the Cannes premiere, director Lars von Trier decided to shorten it, and the song was subsequently reworked and retitled "107 Steps." See more »

Connections

Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.17 (2011) 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 "Musical" like no other before it...
9 October 2000 | by izauzeSee all my reviews

Gene Kelly's musicals may never have tempted a tear, but this film sure did. This is the most creative and powerful film I've seen this year. I just got back so it will take a while to absorb where it fits in the hierarchy of great movies, but it is one of the few 10's I have ever given on IMDB. I went in knowing nothing other then that Bjork was the lead and that it was a Cannes favorite, I and was rewarded greatly. I am not closed minded, but I thought I would never again find a musical that so wrapped you up in the emotional core of the piece, such as the musicals that I enjoyed in my youth. Its style is experimental enough that I would be surprised if it got a Best Film Oscar nod, but never would I be surprised for any honors bestowed on Bjork, who torturingly WAS Selma for those two painful hours. She is a goddess.


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