There are some films I just don’t get. Occasionally a film will be met with critical acclaim and it feels the whole world but me is enamoured with it. Other times, there are commercial behemoths which storm to billions of dollars but leave me disheartened. I feel slightly better about myself for my reaction to Lars von Trier’s 2000 Palme d’Or winning Dancer in the Dark. The film divided critics like few others have before or since. It won awards and was met with praise from the likes of Roger Ebert but received damming criticisms from Peter Bradshaw and many others. Personally I’m with Bradshaw.
Dancer in the Dark feels crass and manipulative and has a story which left me both bored and perplexed. Despite some interesting song and dance numbers and a frankly terrifying ending, I felt at times as though it was a film that would never end and couldn’t wait for it to do so.