Breaking the Waves1996
Breaking the Waves (1996)
Critic Consensus: Breaking the Waves offers a remarkable testament to writer-director Lars von Trier's insight and filmmaking skill -- and announces Emily Watson as a startling talent.
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as Bess McNeill
as Dodo McNeill
as Dr. Richardson
as The Man on the Trawler
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 1
as Boy 2
as Boy in Film
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Critic Reviews for Breaking the Waves
There are few movies around that take such huge risks: this is high-wire filmmaking, without a net of irony.
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 ...
Watson's Bess is an unforgettable character -- simple, profound, heartbreaking, tragic and yet triumphant.
Breaking the Waves is emotionally and spiritually challenging, hammering at conventional morality with the belief that God not only sees all, but understands a great deal more than we give Him credit for.
Emily Watson gives this musty spiritualism a flesh and-blood sympathetic center. Her purity of emotion, be it bliss, fear or sorrow, are convincingly unactorly and the camera -- even Von Trier's handheld pseudo-documentary one -- loves her face.
Audience Reviews for Breaking the Waves
It is curious to see how Lars von Trier uses a number of plot elements and devices that could be simply considered too hard to buy and more appropriate in a soap opera, and yet he manages to make everything so touching and genuinely devastating, with a powerful performance by Emily Watson.
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.
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