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      Dancer in the Dark

      2000, Drama, 2h 20m

      122 Reviews 50,000+ Ratings

      What to know

      Critics Consensus

      Dancer in Dark can be grim, dull, and difficult to watch, but even so, it has a powerful and moving performance from Bjork and is something quite new and visionary. Read critic reviews

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      Dancer in the Dark  Photos

      Dancer in the Dark (2000) Dancer in the Dark (2000) Dancer in the Dark (2000) Dancer in the Dark (2000) Dancer in the Dark (2000) Dancer in the Dark (2000) Dancer in the Dark (2000) Dancer in the Dark (2000) Dancer in the Dark (2000) Selma (Björk).

      Movie Info

      Selma is a Czech immigrant, a single mother working in a factory in rural America. Her salvation is passion for music, specifically, the all-singing, all-dancing numbers found in classic Hollywood musicals. Selma harbors a sad secret: she is losing her eyesight and her son Gene stands to suffer the same fate if she can't put away enough money to secure him an operation. When a desperate neighbor falsely accuses Selma of stealing his savings, the drama of her life escalates to a tragic finale.

      • Rating: R (Some Violence)

      • Genre: Drama

      • Original Language: English

      • Director: Lars von Trier

      • Producer: Peter Aalbæk Jensen, Vibeke Windeløv

      • Writer: Lars von Trier

      • Release Date (Theaters):  wide

      • Release Date (Streaming):

      • Box Office (Gross USA): $4.2M

      • Runtime:

      • Distributor: Fine Line Features

      • Production Co: Zentropa Entertainments, Slot Machine, Zentropa Entertainment France, France 3 Cinéma, Pain Unlimited GmbH Filmproduktion, arte France Cinéma, Trust Film Svenska

      • Sound Mix: Dolby SR, Dolby Digital, Surround

      • Aspect Ratio: Scope (2.35:1)

      Cast & Crew

      News & Interviews for Dancer in the Dark

      Critic Reviews for Dancer in the Dark

      Audience Reviews for Dancer in the Dark

      • Jan 10, 2022

        Often its cynicism is a bit too juvenile (even by Von Trier standards) but there is still something strangely compelling about the film's brutality mixed with these really peculiar songs. Also, I think that Bjork has just the right kind of otherworldly innocence for the role.

        Super Reviewer
      • May 09, 2016

        Completely soaked in raw and powerful emotion. This movie is as beautiful as it is difficult to watch without having your heart ripped out of your chest. Dark, Grim, Depressing and Powerful. This is a movie that you really need to see at least once just for the reaction from your system. Amazing soundtrack that is tastefully placed throughout. Enjoy.

        Super Reviewer
      • Jun 28, 2014

        Dancer in the Dark is one of the most painful films I had to endure. As the final Dogme film von Trier has directed, it is by far the weirdest and the most depressing. It is a musical drama starring Bjork, Catherine Deneuve and David Morse about the corruption of the justice system, music and joie de vivre. A must see but seeing it once would be enough really.

        Super Reviewer
      • Aug 08, 2013

        This is hands-down the most depressing musical ever made. Even the musical numbers, which seem cheery and lighthearted on the surface, are actually pretty sad when put into the context of the rest of the movie. Björk (yes, that Björk) stars as Selma, a Czech immigrant living in the United States with her 10-year-old son. She barely scrapes by a living with her factory job, but she finds joy in her life through singing and watching musicals. Unfortunately for Selma, she was born with a genetic disorder that is causing her to gradually lose her eyesight, and will have a similar effect on her son. She has been secretly saving up money all her life to pay for her son's surgery, but when her impoverished but greedy landlord (David Morse) finds out about her savings, Selma's life rapidly spirals out control. If I explained further, you would be able to fully understand just how heartwrenchingly sad it gets, but I don't want to spoil anything else about the plot. Let's just say this movie will ruin your day and there's a good chance that you will cry so much that you and everyone else in your home will drown in your tears. It's ridiculously sad. Björk gives a surprisingly powerful performance despite having no acting experience whatsoever. Her character Selma is completely selfless and only wants to give her son the operation he needs to maintain his eyesight, but the people around her bring her down so that they can get what they want. Selma's life is so difficult that, when put into tough situations, she often daydreams that her life is a musical and that everyone around her spontaneously breaks out into song like in a musical. All of the movie's musical numbers are actually just Selma's daydreams, and each one simply acts as a way for Selma to escape the morbid reality of her life. It starts off slowly with a lot of exposition, but as soon as the movie reaches its turning point about 45-50 minutes in (you'll know when it happens) it gets much more emotional and engaging. Danish director Lars von Trier deserves a lot of credit for Dancer in the Dark. He manages to take all of the cheerfulness out of musicals, and that takes a true innovator to do. It will destroy your soul with sadness, but Björk's impressive performance makes Dancer in the Dark a worthwhile (and, again, very depressing) movie to watch.

        Super Reviewer

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