Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Emily Watson in "Breaking The Waves"

Emily Watson received her first Oscar nomination for playing Bess McNeill in Breaking The Waves.

Breaking The Waves is a strangely interesting film about Bess, Jan, and their love for each other. The two marry, he leaves to work on an oil rig, gets hurt, and this sets our tragic story into motion.

Bess is deeply religious, loving, and naive young girl. Once she meets and marries Jan, her love becomes immense. Her life revolves around how she can please Jan. Emily Watson portrays Bess's love unconditionally and beautifully.

When Bess talks to God, she is literally talking to God, and he is answering her back. She begs for Jan to come back after he leaves for the oil rig, and it's obvious her God is a harsh God. Again, Emily Watson never makes these scenes seem phony or unreal, she always portrays it with beauty and rawness that makes the scenes even more powerful.

Once Jan asks her to have sex with different men then come back and tell him about it, it becomes almost unbearable to watch, as poor, naive, innocent Bess begins to humiliate herself.

It's shocking and like I said, almost unbearable to watch, but Emily Watson's performance is brave and looks effortless. She always makes Bess a pitiful presence.

It's also great that Watson has many incredible scenes. Every scene is perfectly laid out by Watson, and she carries them with Bess's unthinkable logic and love, perfectfully.

Emily Watson as Bess is one of most outstanding performances ever, because she never seems forced or fake as she explores the mind and logic of Bess. Unbearable to witness, but always incredible.


joe burns said...

Completly agree! It's one of the best I've ever seen!

Fritz said...

You know my thoughts! :-)

Malcolm said...

I'm always wondering if anybody called her soliloquy phony since it was used as an Oscar clip and soliloquys mostly fall for cheese.

Anyway, I'm always interested to watch this movie. But something tells me not to.

This is off-topic, but how do you think of Dancer in the Dark? And Bjork in Dancer in the Dark?

Sage Slowdive said...

Her talk with God was an amazing scene!

Its definitely very dark, but it's worth seeing.

I really never understood the praise for Bjork in Dancer.

Robert said...

I was going to ask the same question about Bjork! :D I'm actually a huge fan of her performance...but I loved her as a musician before I saw the film so maybe I'm biased. I think though, that without her music and performance, that film would have been garbaggggeeee.

I need to see Breaking the Waves! I love Emily Watson...

vinnieh said...

Great post, this has to rank as one of the most astonishing, emotionally challenging debuts in the history of cinema