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Set in rural America in 1964, an immigrant and single mother who works at a factory takes refuge from her hardships by imagining herself and her co-workers in Hollywood musicals.
Dancer in Dark can be grim, dull, and difficult to watch, but even so, it has a powerful and moving performance from Bjork and is something quite new and visionary.
At least Dancer in the Dark is bad in a complicated way.
Denmark's enfant terrible Lars von Trier finally won the Camme Palme d'Or for this postmodern deconstructive musical featuring a stunning performance by Bjork.
It is not pleasing to watch, by any conceivable definition of that word.
Aims right for the heart and aces its target.
Habitually galling director Lars von Trier's musical is a black-swan genre rarity - a 1960s-set sledgehammer to Broadway and Hollywood's insistence on sunshiny endings in golden-era musicals about Nazis, murder and suicide.
Even without the musical numbers, von Trier has given us a compelling story with original characters.
It smashes down the walls of habit that surround so many movies. It returns to the wellsprings. It is a bold, reckless gesture.
Everything about Bjork and Dancer in the Dark is enigmatic in an uncomfortable dissecting way that shows beauty in the crudest way, and crudeness in the complexity of advanced social mores.
I was devastated by it. What bothers me is this: It is the easiest thing in the world to do... move people by destroying something beautiful.
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