"Dancer in the Dark"
Directed by Lars von Trier
Few films have
inspired as passionately divided critical reaction as Lars von Trier's
unusual musical melodrama about a factory worker, rapidly going blind, who
finds escape in the fantasy world of Hollywood musicals. The highly original
singer-songwriter Bjork, in only her second dramatic feature, won Best
Actress honors at Cannes for her deeply felt performance as the film's
tragic heroine. Shot on digital video (reportedly with over 100 cameras),
the movie maintains a rough-hewn look even when it departs from scenes of
stark realism for its offbeat musical production numbers. Bjork also wrote
or co-wrote the original songs (with the director contributing to many).
Like von Trier's Breaking the Waves, this is a story of a woman's
almost unrelenting suffering, and the intent of the emotional tone of the
film has been read in many ways by different reviewers. Winner of the Palme
d'Or at Cannes. With Catherine Deneuve, David Morse, Peter Stormare,
Jean-Marc Barr and Joel Grey. 141 minutes.