Dancer in the Dark

Bomb Rating: 

If director Lars ("Breaking the Waves") Von Trier doesn't like America, I suggest he keep it to himself, or at least restrict his stupid movies to Finland or Denmark or whatever godforsaken Scandinavian ice shelf he calls home. And while he and all his smarmy, holier-than-thou Finnish or Danish friends decry the American way of life, they can sit by a Chernobyl-irradiated pond, waiting for the fish to bite while they get high on the hashish they bought with their dole money. Oh, and how's that five dollar a gallon gas, you skirt-wearing, cheese-worshipping losers? And what's the damn tax rate over there, like 85%?

This film is a condemnation of the American way of life, pure and simple. Selma (Bjork) is a factory worker who's going blind because of a rare genetic disease. She's working to save enough money for her son to have an operation because he'll eventually suffer from the same ailment. Though Selma's life is monotonous and sorry, she passes the time dreaming of being in musicals. Her best friend is a fellow worker, Kathy (Catherine Deneuve). Her best romantic prospect is a slow guy (Peter Stormare) who shows up in a truck every day after work. She rents a house from a guy (David Morse) who starts confessing his marital problems.

Let's just say that, like in most Von Trier movies, everything goes right down the old dumper for our unfortunate protagonist. However, because she's from Czechoslovakia, she knows what it means to really suffer and thus remains in a state of cherubic glee throughout the entire film. Either this is intentional on Von Trier's part or it's because Bjork can't contort her face into any other form besides cherubic glee.

Maybe if she got a glimpse of my bowels after listening to her singing, she would have emoted differently.

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