'Breaking the Waves' has great performances from new acting talent

Gary Wolcott, atomictown.comJune 11, 2014 

Breaking the Waves introduced us to a wonderful new acting talent. Emily Watson's first starring roles is as the troubled Bess McNeill. She's Scottish and talks to God and believes God answers back in her voice. Bess -- against the wishes of her family and church -- falls in love and marries Jan. He's a Norwegian who works on an oil derrick.

She prays that Jan will come back to her -- permanently. When he does, it's because an accident paralyzes him from the neck down.

This is where Lars von Trier's (Melancholia) movie gets twisted and uncomfortable. Jon cannot make love to Bess, so he orders her to find lovers and come back and tell him what they did. She eventually obeys but hates it.

Great performances -- especially from Watson -- and excellent storytelling made Breaking the Waves groundbreaking in 1996. Today not so much.

Director: Lars von Trier

Stars: Emily Watson, Stellan Skarsgard

Mr. Movie rating: 4 stars

Rated R for mature themes, nudity. It's plays Friday, June 13 only at the Battelle Auditorium at 8:00 p.m.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.

-- Check out Mr. Movie's groundbreaking reviews at www.tricityherald.com/arts/mrmovie.

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