8.0/10
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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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3,164 ( 331)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 33 wins & 45 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 (as Siobhan Fallon)
...
District Attorney
...
...
Morty
Reathel Bean ...
Judge
Mette Berggreen ...
Receptionist
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Storyline

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

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:

 »
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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:

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

Gross:

$4,157,491 (USA) (15 December 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

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 Kathy shows up to help Selma on the night shift, she is speaking, but her mouth is clearly not saying the words we hear. See more »

Quotes

Norman: She said Communism was - better for human beings.
District Attorney: She had nothing but contempt for our great country and it's principals.
Norman: Apart from it's musicals! She said the American one - the American ones were better.
District Attorney: So, the defendant preferred Hollywood to Vladivostok.
See more »

Connections

References The Pajama Game (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

IN THE MUSICALS, PART 2
Written by Björk, Mark Bell, Sjón Sigurdsson & Lars von Trier
Performed by Björk & Joel Grey
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, Warp/EMI 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
Not convinced by Bjorks acting abilities tallbird50
view of America richee-1
The direction is so poor amirxpoz
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