Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Dancer in the Dark (2000)

What a fascinating motion picture. Even when it fails to be plausible, it is never boring, never fails to be interesting and captivating.

But as it goes along, you realize it's not making an ATTEMPT to be plausible. In fact, it's directly going against plausibility. It becomes more and more clear that this was a conscious decision to revive two long-dead Hollywood art forms, the musical, and the tragic melodrama. Anyone who complains about failures in plausibility is missing the point. People don't just break out into song in real life either. This is a tragic, melodramatic story of an innocent railroaded into a crime and has to pay the price. The fact that she occasionally breaks out into song in fanciful, vibrant numbers is almost expected considering the director and star.

As much as I dislike Lars von Trier as a person, and his views and beliefs, I must say that the man is a fabulous, fearless genius who always makes films full of life AND death, films both vibrant and morose, many times in the same scene, and this film exhibits this in a very literal sense.

It saddens me that when you mention Bjork's name to most of the general mainstream public, their first thoughts are 1) swan dress, 2) beating up a photographer 3) Iceland! 4) apparent singer. She consistently puts out breathtakingly brilliant albums, and her acting is no different. It's certainly too bad that she has sworn off movies after this, because she inhibits this character with every fibre of her being, moreso than 90% of film actors around.

Whether or not it always works (I'm of the camp that it most certainly does), I would be amazed to find someone that could call this film boring and uninteresting, and if I could, I don't know that I want to. A [Currently #4 in my Fifty-Eight of 2000]

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