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Dancer In The Dark DVD Review

Updated on March 14, 2011

A Musical Tragedy

This movie is about Selma, a Czechoslovakian immigrant who loves to daydream about musicals.

Selma lives in a small town in America. She is losing her sight and working desperately in a machine shop to save money so that her son can have an operation to prevent the loss of his own sight. Selma is quickly becoming unable to do the work in the machine shop because of her poor vision. Meanwhile, her policeman landlord has squandered his inheritance and gotten himself in a hole financially. When he discovers that she has a big can of money in her kitchen cupboard, he steals it, and musical mayhem ensues making this movie a musical tragedy in the best sense!

Title Dancer in the Dark:   Attribution License : Photographer :_basquiat_:
Title Dancer in the Dark: Attribution License : Photographer :_basquiat_:

Directed by Lars von Trier

A Fairy Tale Feeling

The plot is a bit old fashioned but enjoyable. The clear-cut story was set in the 1950s and was the kind of story you would have seen in the 50s. In some ways, it reminded me of an extended episode of The Twilight Zone. A good, simple woman sacrifices everything for the good of her child and meets with tragedy in the end, but somehow, it is for the best. The cast, Bjork, Catherine Deneuve, Joel Gray, Peter Stormare, is impressive. Director, Lars von Trier is well-known for unusual and off-beat productions. The music was a surprise and Bjorks acting ability was a surprise to me; although, I have read other reviews by people who have seen her act before and were not surprised. The ending scenes were especially strong and affecting.

A Musical Experience

Genuinely Interesting

The movie was not exactly entertaining. It is not a movie that you sit back and relax to watch. It takes a bit of work. If I had to pick one word to describe this movie, it would be "interesting". And I don't mean that as a polite way of saying it sucked. It was truly, deeply, interesting. The characters were interesting, different, odd and quirky. The total lack of background music contrasted with the unusual musical numbers was interesting. The music, itself, was interesting, beautiful, powerful and haunting. The choreography was interesting and original. The filming technique was interesting and unusual.

Afterwatching this movie movie, I thought and felt that it was well-done, and I was interested in learning more about how it had been made and who Bjork is. I wanted to know more about the director and understand more about the camera work, choreography, and other technical aspects of the film.

Five Stars if You Like Quirky!

I would recommend this movie to some. People like me who like an unusual movie and want to know about the technical details of a film will be absorbed by this film. People who just want to be entertained will probably not like the film. In fact, most reviews I read of this film were evenly divided. People either loved it or hated it.


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  • futonfraggle profile image

    futonfraggle 8 years ago

    Great review! "It is not a movie that you sit back and relax to watch. It takes a bit of work." I think you nailed it on the head right there! I'm a Bjork fan and I just...couldn't get into this one. Watched it twice - same results. I think I even used the word "interesting" to describe it LOL.

  • VioletSun profile image

    VioletSun 8 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

    I couldn't understand the words as its not closed captioned, but could hear the music, and as I watched the movements of their dancing, I enjoyed the passion. This is a movie, based on what you wrote, that I think I would enjoy!  

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

    Thanks for your kind comments!

    Violet, there is a version of this song on YouTube that is captioned, but the quality of the sound and video are not very good, so I chose this one. You might want to have a look at the other one to see the words. It is the second or third choice when you search "Dancer in the Dark" on YouTube. The movie is closed captioned. I got into the habit of watching everything with the captions on when I was married to a deaf man. Can't watch TV without them now! :D

  • profile image

    Iphigenia 8 years ago

    A very thoughtful review - made me want to watch this film. Thanks !

  • Lisa HW profile image

    Lisa HW 8 years ago from Massachusetts

    Thanks, Suzanne. Now I know to avoid it. :) Most of the time, I'm not looking to work when I see a movie. :)

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

    Glad I could help , Ladies! :)

  • VioletSun profile image

    VioletSun 7 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

    Susanne: Thanks will check it out! And that's interesting you watch CC, my s/o is used to it by now because of me, but I have friends who tell me its distracting to see subtitles while watching movies. :)

  • profile image

    C. C. Riter 7 years ago

    Thanks for the headsup. I'll warn Wee One not to get it.

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 7 years ago from Texas

    Violet, People who cannot read and watch movies at the same time are simply inferior! That's what I think! ;D

    Glad I could help you, CC Riter! :D

  • Elena. profile image

    Elena. 7 years ago from Madrid

    Hi Suzanne! You are a good reviewer :-) This doens't sound like a movie that I'd want to catch, voluntarily, but maybe I'd give it a go if it popped up in the program while I was there :-) As you say, Lars von Trier is well-known for un-typical stuff -- I tend to have a bit of a hard time with his movies. Oh well -- thanks Ms Reviewer!

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 7 years ago from Texas

    Thanks for your comments! Yes, I get the impression from the special features and some things I read that he is a bit of a jerk! And really, one thing that niggles a bit about this movie is the slight but constant sense of it's creator standing by saying, "See how clever I am?" And he is! Ya gotta give 'im that!

  • katyzzz profile image

    katyzzz 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

    I just love your logo and I'm dance mad, welcome buddy.

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 7 years ago from Texas

    Thanks! :)

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