Dancer In The Dark

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: +1

Living in a foreign country would be difficult for anyone, but Czech immigrant and single mother Selma Jezkova (Bjrk), struggles through life with a secret. She and her son, Gene (Vladica Kostic), both possess a debilitating disease that threatens to take their sight forever. Trying to live as cheaply as she can, Selma works two jobs and saves her money to pay for Gene to have a sight-saving operation. Her best friend, Kathy (Catherine Deneuve), and an unusually strong love for Hollywood musicals, keep Selma happy and satisfied. Selma also has neighbors that care about her and watch young Gene when shes away. But her usually good-natured neighbor, Bill (David Morse), accuses Selma of stealing some money, which leads to a conflict that alters their lives forever. An intense and somewhat depressing film, DANCER IN THE DARK won top honors at Cannes Film Festival with its powerful picture of a truly unique woman. The varied, yet tremendous musical score by Icelandic musician, and lead actress, Bjrk leaves a lasting impression, and the film will do the same for all who get a chance to see it.

With only 2 regular profanities and a single mild crudity, DANCER IN THE DARK has little traditional objectionable content. Its 'R' rating comes from two violent scenes, neither are particularly graphic, at least in whats actually shown on screen. However, director Lars von Trier masterfully crafts each scene, and without showing it, portrays the horrific nature of violent deaths. One scene involves a shooting and beating death. While clearly a horrible act, no physical contact is shown. The killer fires a gun and swings a blunt object, yet the victim is only seen injured from the shot and then dead, without the graphic contact often shown. The other scene shows a hanging, and while audiences see the person hang, the death scene is not exploited. Both scenes make viewers cringe and skin crawl, but whats actually on screen is suggestive only. Selma exhibits a refreshing honesty compared to current trends of frequent rationalization and people presenting themselves as victims. The purity and sweet simplicity of Selma should move viewers in a powerful way. With a warning about the two violent scenes, Preview can recommend DANCER IN THE DARK for adult viewing.

Preview Reviewer: John Adair
Fine Line Features, 888 7th Ave., 20th Floor, NY, NY 10106

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Once - Mild

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: Few (2) times Regular (GD, C sake)

Violence: Few times Mild and moderate (mother slaps son, person shot repeatedly, person beaten in head - impact off-screen, person hanged)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: Insecure man withholds information from wife for fear of losing love, would rather die than tell the whole truth; woman stands by her word through all sorts of troubles; death portrayed as horrific occurrence

Running Time: 140 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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