Breaking the Waves (1996)
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as Bess McNeill
as Dodo McNeill
as Dr. Richardson
as The Man on the Trawl...
as The Minister
as An Elder
as Glasgow Doctor
as Man on Bus
as Man on Boat
as Man at Lighthouse
as Man on Boat
as Young Sailor
as Radio Operator
as Police Officer 1
as Ugly Man
as Police Officer 2
as Praying Man 1
as Praying Man 2
as Praying Man 3
as Boy 2
as Boy in Film
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Critic Reviews for Breaking the Waves
The performance from newcomer Emily Watson is the centerpiece of this spiritual journey.
It's a remarkable achievement for all concerned, with Katrin Cartlidge, as Bess's widowed sister-in-law, sharing the acting laurels with the radiant Emily Watson, and writer/director Lars von Trier building the emotional and dramatic intensity ...
Both a ferocious love story and a tale of the triumph of vital individual faith over ossified and corrupt organized religion.
Issues of faith, devotion, sexuality and divine intervention are at the center of this daring and provocative piece that placed writer-director Lars von Trier on the international map.
It's a testament to Emily Watson's astounding performance as Bess that she comes across as more than a von Trier construct; she's a woman of boundless passion, who follows her faith wherever it takes her.
Audience Reviews for Breaking the Waves
This was definitely a mesmerizing experience. The film is about so many things but what stood out most to me was the religious subject matter. There's definitely a lot that can be said, little that I agree with, and a lot that could make you feel just depressed/disgusted about the whole thing. The film just punches you in the gut. In conclusion... definitely worth watching.
Emily Watson is a wonderful actress, her performance is the only thing this ugly thing has going for it. Mean spirited ultimately pointless film. The ending has to be one of the dumbest "ah come on!" moments ever put on film.
An honest, super depressing look at a mentally unstable woman (Emily Watson) and her marriage to an oil rig worker (Stellan Skarsgard), and how they deal with their relationship after he is left paralyzed due to a work accident, and his only demand of her is that she find another lover that will somehow aid his healing. While it is a soul-crushing throughout its duration, and it occasionally threatens to overstep its bounds and become offensive, one can not help but be in awe of the brutal honesty and graphic depiction of a marriage on the rocks Lars von Trier brings to the screen. Not only is it a romantic-drama, it also has a philosophical spin on the nature of religion and how the negative, secluded sections of the religious folk can be some of the worst human beings possible. It is anti-religious, but it is never an illustration of the norm of religious people. It is moreso a frank, disturbing look of a woman who needs help but the very people she turns to forsake her for their own selfish desires. Emily Watson's unforgettable, powerful performance drives this moving all the way to it's discouraging conclusion. It may not be easy to get through given its length and subject, but the way von Trier shoots this thing (with a handheld camera to capture a grainy feel), as well as his handle on the material is something to be in awe of.
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