2018 Film Challenge: 21. Dancer In The Dark

I’d seen this film once before, whilst visiting my dad in Australia in 2011, and I’d really enjoyed it, so was keen to get to see it again (as I recently bought it on DVD). I happily enjoyed it just as much on second viewing. It’s a brilliant combination of joyful singing and dancing,┬ácontrasted with totally heartbreaking tragedy. I love the notion of music being a refuge when things are going wrong. It’s so well done and really lingers with you after the credits roll.

Here are the thoughts I had whilst watching it:

  • I’d forgotten how sweet it is early on
  • I’d also forgotten how much film there is before the musical elements kick in
  • Tap dancing’s the best
  • You know something bad’s going to happen
  • Nooooo
  • So much of this film is really heartbreaking
  • You’re a bad man
  • Does Jeff actually work?
  • You’re a very bad man
  • It’s even more brutal than I’d remembered
  • That’s one handy handrail
  • That was a pretty dumb decision
  • It’s so tragic
  • It’s so heartbreaking
  • What do I recognise the prison guard from? Oh, she was in Dogville! That’s not surprising. Think I actually recognise her from Men In Black though.
  • Jeff’s so sweet
  • Brenda’s so lovely too
  • It’s so awful. If you don’t cry at this you’re probably dead inside.
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One Response to 2018 Film Challenge: 21. Dancer In The Dark

  1. Crashing Elliptical says:

    Another one I hadn’t seen before, and the second von Trier film in the last three. This was another Amazon Video rental, and I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect.

    Anyway, I thought Bjork was incredible here! Even for an experienced actor it would be a great performance, but for someone who’s primary career is as something else, it was genuinely fantastic.

    The contrast between the early, whimsical scenes where they were rehearsing the musical and the later post trial scenes, was really striking, like you’re basically watching this poor woman’s life fall apart before your very eyes. And as for the end, that truly was heartbreaking. As you said, you’d have to have a heart of stone not to be moved by that.

    Overall, I think this is a film everyone should watch.

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