Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Sight & Sound Challenge: Breaking the Waves (1996)

Film: Breaking the Waves (206/250) 
First Time/Rewatch: First Time 

Bess (Emily Watson) is a sweet and simple woman, recently married to Jan (Stellan Skarsgard). She is completely devoted to him, but the time comes when he must leave her to go work on an oil rig. Her faith and her obsession with her husband lead them both down a very unlikely and heartbreaking path. I read that Emily Watson was a last-minute replacement for Helena Bonham Carter, but I can't picture anyone else in the role but Watson. Her sweetness and vulnerability make her the perfect martyr for this story. And despite the melancholy story, I was still incredibly captivated. This is a quality I've found in the other Lars von Trier films I've seen (admittedly only two others)...I've always been intimidated by his films, not wanting to be completely depressed afterwards, but they are just so damn interesting when I finally give them the chance. But I guess that's true of a lot of challenging films and filmmakers. More often than not, you just have to jump in. 

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