It's a fairly well-acted and well-made film as a whole. But the tragedy starts fading into pure melodrama and, finally, comedy, as disaster upon disaster hit the nearly blind and poor factory worker (to start with). I ended up laughing loudly half-way through and all the way till the end..
Bjork gave a phenomenonal performance. And it's a technically unique movie with stunning cinematography. Though as much as the movie brought me such extreme emotions I can't say it's one of my favorite because Lars has only achieved this through creating extreme abusive, and terrible circumstances for his characters to suffer and relying on the the talents of his actresses to bring the movie to life.
I sobbed my tiny heart out. I admit it. The attempt to find even the tiniest glimmer of light & hope when the inevitable blackness is drawing ever closer (literally in Selma's case) is only made more powerful in the film's choice to cut through all the selfishness, sacrifice and misunderstanding of reality with momentary musical segments. Truly debilitating to the spirit, affirming to the soul.
A sledgehammer of a film, which would be utterly ruined by its appalling (albeit beautifully delivered) songs, were it not for von Trier's masterly direction. Of course it could be said that the tone of the songs is integral to the film's impact, and it cannot be denied that, however cringe-worthy the film's musical episodes are, there is something remarkable about them. The finale is quite simply stunning cinema.
It's like with any Von Trier movie, you quite like it to start with because it's different then you realise you have been taken for a ride and you get horribly bored. Dancer in the Dark is a film full of drama but in the end it lacks of substance. Prefer Dogville
Catherine Deneuve as prop - just because she had been in another musical with a 'vérité' slant, nudge-nudge, so clever. Except any Lillian Gish movie has more vérité than this, and without the annoying Dogma mannerisms at that. Point of having had enough of Trier's cheap emotional bullyings.
In my opinion one of Lars von Trier's most remarkable films. The idea to use the acoustic perception of a nearly blind woman as samples to build up the (only imagined) music/dance sequences is extraordinary and leads to their very special kind of integration. Therefore beyond the narration the movie functions as a discourse about musicals and the question "why do they start to sing and dance all of a sudden".
Bjork is excellent and....that's it. She saves this exercise in melodrama. Apparently, Von Trier is afraid of human beings because he fills this whole thing up with people that, on paper, are morally ambiguous and he just turns them into assholes. Even Bjork feels like some dream victim of his. The 100 camera gimmick adds nothing and just makes the dance sequences have no oomph to them since it's all random.
I can't bear any of these movies by Lars Von Trier full of cheap aesthetics and feelings. What I liked was the Russian astronaut "THIS IS HOW WE FIX PROBLEMS ON RUSSIAN SPACE STATION" from Armageddon, who plays here the positive male character. You expect any minute that he pulls out an iron stick to fix issues in Dancer in the Dark too. Unfortunately this does not happen.