The Cannes Film Festival (French: le Festival de Cannes), founded in 1946, is one of the world's oldest and most prestigious film festivals. The private festival is held annually (usually in the month of May) at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, in the resort town of Cannes, in the south of France.
Prior to the beginning of each event, the Festival’s board of directors appoints the juries who hold sole responsibility for choosing which films will receive the blessing of a Cannes award. Jurors are chosen from a wide range of international artists, based on their body of work and respect from their peers.
The most prestigious award given out at Cannes is the Palme d'Or ("Golden Palm") for the best film. The Grand Prix is the second-most prestigious prize of the festival after the Palme d'Or. The Jury Prize (French: Prix du Jury) is considered the third most prestigious prize at the film festival, after the Palme d'Or and the Grand Prix.
(from Cannes Film Festival Wiki Site, wikipedia.org)
In a world of shadows, she found the light of life. Icelandic singer, songwriter and Academy Award nominee Bjork stars in Dancer In the Dark, a powerful drama about a woman desperately working to save her son from the same disease that is slowly taking her sight. To escape her work in a tough rural factory, the loving mother escapes into her imagination and envisions herself in Hollywood musicals of old, a place where illness and poverty is replaced by a rousing song and dance number!]]>
In her first and most probably last screen performance (she has foresworn acting after her bruising on-set rows with von Trier), brittle Icelandic chanteuse Bjork plays Selma, a Czech immigrant living in a folksy American small town with her young son, Gene. Selma is going blind and so will Gene if she does not arrange an important operation for him. To cover the expense, Selma works every hour she can, cheating on her eye tests so she can keep working at the local factory long after her vision has become too unreliable to work safely. She sublets a house from a local cop, Bill (David Morse), and his wife, Linda (Cara Seymour). When nearly bankrupt Bill asks Selma for a loan, she refuses, but he later returns and steals the money, which she demands back in a furious confrontation. In the ensuing melee, Bill is fatally shot and Selma is arrested and put on trial. Will justice prevail?
Von Trier's passionate, provocative film runs all our emotional resources dry with suspense, giving us occasional flashes into Selma's gold heart and mind with superb song-and-dance numbers she conjures to banish the nightmare (Bjork also wrote the score). At some two-and-a-half hours, it's not for lightweights, but anyone bored with today's smug, "ironic" cinema will relish this as an astonishing assault on the senses and a stark reminder of von Trier's uncompromising talent. --Damon Wise