Monday, September 18, 2006

75 Great Performances: #7

7. Emily Watson as Bess in Breaking the Waves (1996)

The great director Lars von Trier has gotten magnificent performances from most of his actresses, with practically all of them being quiet and restrained but still powerful. But the only one to have received a nomination from the Academy Awards was Emily Watson, who plays the tragic Bess in Breaking the Waves. The character that she portrays is at once pitiful, frustrating and endearing, as she constantly throws herself into harm's way. Regardless of what you feel about Bess at a certain moment, it is that Watson makes you feel for the character that is a testament to the actress's fine power to capture the audience. She is an astounding actress, and the way she balances Bess's fragility with her conviction effortlessly tugs at heartstrings. Von Trier's masterful handling of the tragic heroine will be echoed in subsequent films in Dogville's Kidman (#27) and an actress who is yet to appear on this list.

Picture source

#8: Anna Magnani as Pina in Roma, Citta Aperta (1945)



3 comments:

cyan said...

Sir ron, this movie is depressing! and disturbing..or maybe I am not yet that reflective enough :D

cyan said...

Sir ron, this movie was depressing! and disturbing..or maybe I am not yet that reflective enough :D --mimi

Ron said...

It IS depressing and disturbing hehe. Most, if not all, von Trier films are like that. But he's such a good director, and the actresses he gets are amazing.