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Dancer in the Dark (2000)

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2:34 | Trailer

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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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Popularity
3,100 ( 387)
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:

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:

$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

Stellan Skarsgård was originally cast in the role of Jeff, Selma's would-be boyfriend, but was unable to play a part as large as that due to a scheduling conflict (with Aberdeen (2000)). The part of Jeff went instead to Peter Stormare, and Skarsgård ended up playing the substantially smaller (only two scenes) role of Selma's eye doctor. See more »

Goofs

Selma nicknames Kathy with the wrong pronunciation - kvalda, instead of tsvalda. If Selma was of Czech origin, she would make such a mistake. See more »

Quotes

Selma: I listen to my heart.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Anecdotes from 'Europa' (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

SMITH & WESSON
Written by Björk, Sjón Sigurdsson & Lars von Trier
Performed by Björk, David Morse, Cara Seymour, Edward Ross & Vladica Kostic
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

 
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!


57 of 82 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
view of America richee-1
Not convinced by Bjorks acting abilities tallbird50
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