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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 63,745 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 675 user | 174 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

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:

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 28 wins & 34 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:

Dancer in the Dark  »

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer-director Lars von Trier's first draft screenplay was called "Taps" and featured tap dancing in every scene. Choreographer Vincent Paterson convinced von Trier that it would be far too difficult, if not impossible, to teach something as "technical" as tap dancing to Björk and the other cast members within a reasonable period of time. Von Trier rewrote the screenplay so that the songs would be more in the style of "traditional" Hollywood musicals, but retained some of the tap-dancing motif with the character of Oldrich Novy. See more »

Goofs

When Selma knocks on the door and her foreman answers it the door opens from the wrong direction and they are clearly not in the same factory building. See more »

Quotes

Selma: I listen to my heart.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sal de Prata (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

CLIMB EVERY MOUNTAIN
Written by Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II
Williamson Music
Performed by Björk & Vincent Paterson
See more »

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User Reviews

A film so perfect it hurts to watch.
10 November 2000 | by (newcastle, UK) – See all my reviews

This is quite possibly the most moving film I've seen, it ensnares you within the first minute, or Bjork does with her interpretation of the sound of music, which is both hilarious and introduces one of the main themes: the magic of musicals. Not one of my favourite genres (but everyone loves The Sound Of Music, right?) but Lars Von Trier makes you re-evaluate your perception with a gentle loving pastiche of the way for no reason people and things in musicals spontaneously erupt into song, made more credible in this film by implicating a reason for it: Bjork's character is going blind so she hears music in the slightest thing and she, in her mind, sees how moves should be choreographed with the music she hears, reminiscent of her own ‘It's Oh So Quiet' music video. And the best thing about this film is the way Bjork charms you with her portrayal of the nicest person in the world, she will do anything for you if she could. She is essentially an innocent and though this is her weakness you can't help but love her all the more: a sparkling performance from a unique singer in real life.

However from this don't assume that this is a light happy film as there is a dark tragic side also, and this side is full of injustice, agony- and I mean agony-, sorrow- like you'd not believe-, and an intense emotional pull as I've ever felt in a cinema before, and it's this half that propels it from being just a great film to becoming one of the greatest. Its greatness is in telling a simple story of a woman trying to stop her own genetic sight disorder afflicting her son, by working every hour to afford the operation, working heavy machinery despite essentially being virtually blind, its greatness is its ability to inflict upon you the gift of feeling every conceivable emotion you posses and you do, you really do experience so much during this film. But I'll not say too much as my enjoyment of this film increased due to, for a change, not second guessing what would happen but to just let it be, I would say to passively watch but there's nothing passive about this film. It really moves you. It makes you feel alive.

This film should be seen alone, in the quiet when you are all by yourself, but more importantly than that it should be seen: this is more than mere movie this is art this is real this is the greatest film I have ever seen: even better than Casablanca, and Shadowlands, and The Piano.


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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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