Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Dancer in the Dark (2000)

A young woman has emigrated with her son from Central Europe to America where she works day and night to save her son from the same disease she suffers from, a disease that inevitably will make her blind.

Grim and highly artificial melodrama, staged like a study of genre cinema (including the musical); Björk's surprisingly strong gripping performance (and her songs) makes this it worth the watch.

Halliwell**: "A film to divide audiences into those who will respond to the intense emotions on display, many of them heightened by anguished sequences of song and dance; and those who will find the jerky handheld photography a needless distraction, and will reject the melodramatic sob-story as shameless manipulation. Björk throws herself into the role of the most self-sacrificing mother since Stella Dallas with complete conviction."

Maltin**1/2: "Ambitious, brazenlyoff-putting musical (!)...Writer-director von Trier's attempt to expand cinematic musical conventions is certainly thought provoking, but ultimately cold and very literal minded, and not helped by jagged song-and-dance numbers. Björk is impressive..."

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