Very gripping and persuasively acted. The girl's fervent conversations with herself, in which she plays the part of God, show the director's psychological insight. The personalities are subtly drawn. Von Trier captures brilliantly the atmosphere of his isolated, rigidly pious Scottish community.
But his own moralizing is also infected by Christianity. He elevates to sainthood a diseased and fanatical mind, he glorifies excess and simple-minded belief. The fact that much of the action takes place in hospitals is fitting, given the unhealthy nature of this sensibility.
Deep love and loyalty are good, but contrary to what is taught in von Trier's morality play, a self abasing, blind and clinging love, which clamps onto its object like a vice, is not good. The movie has a biblical feel to it, with its message of testing and redemption. There is no denying its power, but it's the power of sickness.