God Vibrations

Holy waters run deep in surrealistic Breaking the Waves

Emily Watson, in her film debut, gives an astonishing performance. She is in nearly every scene, mixing elfin appeal and slightly lamebrained good cheer with a sense of doom and insanity. It's a tribute both to her and to von Trier that near the end, when the film is at its most tragic, her character says something so seemingly naive and foolish that the audience laughs--even as we are filled with grief over where those very qualities have led her.

Breaking the Waves
Directed by Lars von Trier; with Emily Watson and Stellan Skarsgard.

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