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"DANCER IN THE DARK"
(2000) (Björk, Catherine Deneuve) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
None Moderate Heavy Moderate Heavy
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor Minor None None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
None None Mild Moderate Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A poor immigrant dreams of living her life as a musical while trying to earn enough money to pay for her son's eye surgery and coping with her own progressively failing eyesight.
PLOT:
It's the 1960s and Selma (BJÖRK) is a Czechoslovakian immigrant who moved to the United States so that her son, Gene (VLADICA KOSTIC), could have an operation to repair the degenerative eye disease he inherited from her. Working various jobs including pressing metal at the local tool company, Selma hopes to raise enough money for the operation before her condition renders her blind.

Living in a trailer on some land owned by local cop, Bill (DAVID MORSE), and his wife, Linda (CARA SEYMOUR), Selma tries not to call any undue attention to herself, but her bouts of daydreaming and strong interest in musicals - she's rehearsing for the lead in a local production of "The Sound of Music" - often calls for her close friend and co-worker, Kathy (CATHERINE DENEUVE), to cover for her at work and on the stage.

Realizing her condition is worsening, Selma takes on more work, hoping to raise the necessary money and beat the clock that's ticking against her. Yet, she refuses the help and meek romantic overtures of Jeff (PETER STORMARE), an amiable man who returns everyday to offer her a ride anywhere home or in town, knowing that she'll probably turn him down once again.

When Selma and Bill share secrets one night - regarding her and her son's worsening vision and the fact that he's desperately broke and worries that he'll lose both his home and his materialistic wife - a series of events then set into motion unforeseen developments that will change all of their lives forever.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of Björk, someone else in the cast, or the film's director, it's not very likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For some violence.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • BJÖRK plays a poor immigrant who works several jobs hoping to raise enough money for her son's future eye surgery, all while having to contend with her progressively worsening vision. Subject to daydreaming, she eventually kills a man who tries to steal her money that's been saved for that surgery and ends up in prison.
  • CATHERINE DENEUVE plays her best friend and coworker who helps her out when Selma's vision deteriorates even more.
  • DAVID MORSE plays a law officer who ends up stealing Selma's money so that he can pay off his debts and not tell his free-spending wife that they're broke.
  • PETER STORMARE plays a man who's sweet on Selma and always offers to give her a ride anywhere she wants.
  • CARA SEYMOUR plays Bill's materialistic wife who's unaware of their financial difficulties.
  • VLADICA KOSTIC plays Selma's son who skips school one day, but otherwise comes off as a regular kid.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this R-rated drama. Violence consists of a person being repeatedly shot and then bludgeoned to death with a metal box (with bloody results), while that and the events leading up to a later hanging (in the form of capital punishment) may be unsettling, disturbing and/or suspenseful to some viewers.

    Profanity consists of a few minor expletives, although those offended by the term, "G-damn," should note that one use of it occurs here. Beyond that, various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes (one of which leads to the above violence), but the film's other remaining categories have little or nothing in the way of major objectionable content.

    Nonetheless, should you still be concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, we suggest that you more closely examine our detailed content listings.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • None.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • A man's face is very bloody after he's been bludgeoned to death (and his shirt is bloody from where he was shot). The assailant's hands are also bloody.
  • We later see a black and white photo of that man's bloody face.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • We learn that Bill stole Selma's money and then lied to his wife about Selma coming on to him (he does this out of subdued desperation of having run out of his own money and worrying that Linda will leave him if she finds out).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • A truck nearly hits Selma on her bike (since she couldn't see it coming).
  • Bill aims his gun at Selma when she tries to leave with the money he stole from her. He then grabs her, moments later they struggle, and we then hear a gunshot (he's accidentally shot). He then tells her that if she wants her money, she'll have to kill him. She then reluctantly does just that, shooting him several times (some shots miss, some hit him - but we don't see their impact). Realizing that he's not dead, she takes a metal money case and repeatedly strikes him on the head with it (while crying and anguished).
  • The moments leading up to an execution by hanging, and then the actual event, might be unsettling, disturbing and/or tense to some viewers.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handgun: Used to threaten and then injure someone. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Idiot."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • The sudden sound of a gunshot might startle some viewers.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 hell, 1 damn, and 1 use each of "G-damn," "For Christ's sakes" and "Oh God" as exclamations
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • None.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Selma worries about her son, particularly when she's eventually separated from him.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Selma's condition and her continuing to work to support her son and pay for his future eye surgery.
  • Those who are blind or are going blind.
  • Bill's stealing of Selma's money.
  • Capital punishment.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Selma slaps her son for skipping school.
  • Bill aims his gun at Selma when she tries to leave with the money he stole from her. He then grabs her, moments later they struggle, and we then hear a gunshot (he's accidentally shot). He then tells her that if she wants her money, she'll have to kill him. She then reluctantly does just that, shooting him several times (some shots miss, some hit him - but we don't see their impact). Realizing that he's not dead, she takes a metal money case and repeatedly strikes him on the head with it (while crying and anguished).
  • A prisoner is hanged to death in prison (via capital punishment).



  • Reviewed August 21, 2000 / Posted October 6, 2000

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