Breaking The Waves (Lars von Trier, 1996)


A profoundly moving film experience.  One of the best films I have seen in a while – the best film experience I have had since The Lives of Others.  This was my second Lars von Trier film after Dancer in the Dark which I loved as well.  This film is as close to perfection as they get – a deeply expansive narrative with so many layers, just unbelievable performances from all principles, ghostly perfectionist cinematography, impeccable editing, lovely well developed characters without an ounce of pretense but with subtle humor spread throughout, one of the best soundtracks ever complied for a film and a perfectly cathartic ending.  The film has an amazingly sustained tension and dread that one could understand why famous critics at Cannes escaped to the bathroom, devastated and in need of comforting.  This one gets you thinking.  Told in “chapters,” each section is introduced by a widescreen film “painting” with the best and most appropriate music.  Wow, maybe this guy is “the best film director in the world.”  This one misses not a beat.  Breaking the Waves is a commitment and a VERY rewarding one at that.

***** / *****

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