A.V. Club Most Read

News Newswire Great Job, Internet!
TV Club All Reviews What's On Tonight
Video All Video A.V. Undercover A.V. Undercover: The Day Of The Dead The Hi-Lo Food Show
Reviews All Reviews Film TV Music Books
Features All Features Newswire What Are You Watching?
Sections Film Tv Music Food Comedy Books Games Aux
Our Company About Us Contact Advertise Privacy Policy Careers RSS
Onion Inc. Sites The Onion The A.V. Club ClickHole Onion Studios

Breaking The Waves


Breaking The Waves

Community Grade (5 Users)

  • A
  • A-
  • B+
  • B
  • B-
  • C+
  • C
  • C-
  • D+
  • D
  • D-
  • F

Your Grade


Dutch writer-director Lars Von Trier's first all-English-language film continues in the groundbreaking vein of such previous works as the stylish thriller Zentropa and the trash-classic supernatural soap opera The Kingdom. But while those films each made a deep impression in their own way, Breaking The Waves has a feel of real substance at which those movies only hinted. Oscar-nominated Emily Watson plays a deeply religious, sort of childlike Scottish woman who marries a foreign oil worker. When he is grievously injured, she begins to give herself, at his request, to strange men. One of Breaking The Waves' many strong points is Von Trier's ability to refrain from making it clear who is right and wrong: Watson's behavior is self-destructive and considered damnable by her tight-knit community, while the motives of her husband's request may themselves be perverse. The strength of her convictions, however, makes Watson's descent seem like a form of devotion. What Von Trier arrives at is a complex, contemporary, and deeply moving exploration of faith.