I first saw Breaking the Waves when I was 17, having never heard of director Lars Von Trier before. I ended up watching the film late one night and I was completely and utterly transfixed the entire way through.
Emily Watson especially amazed me with her incredible performance as Bess, a naive young woman from a strict, religious background, who is recently married to someone whom her local community consider an outsider, when tragedy strikes.
This arthouse film manages to raise such a mix of emotions for the audience, from sadness to outrage interchanging so quickly, and sometimes at the same time. I am now an avid fan of Lars Von Trier and his style of filmmaking, and also a huge fan of the Dogme 95 movement which is such a refreshing way of filmmaking, and works extremely well to portray the realism of a film such as this.
Everything about this film works so well together – the locations, the soundtrack, and the seemingly simple but emotionally effective script. The acting is simply incredible from the entire cast.
I certainly believe Breaking the Waves is very deservedly one of the greatest British films ever made, possibly the greatest, with a great reliance on its European roots from its Danish director.
I am continually working my way through the entire collection of Lars Von Trier films, but Breaking the Waves remains my favourite work of his. I would implore anybody and everybody to seek out this truly remarkable film.