Danish director Lars von Trier's BREAKING THE WAVES is a sweeping romantic fable that is photographed like a low-budget documentary, resulting in a strikingly original motion picture from one of contemporary cinema's most distinct visionaries. Bess McNeill (Emily Watson) is a shy young woman living in a small Scottish shore town dominated by a strict religious sect. When she meets Jan (Stellan Skarsgaard), an offshore rig worker, the two immediately fall in love. Jan embraces Bess's absolute innocence and, soon after, they are married. Their magical existence comes to a crashing halt when Jan is forced to return to sea for an extended period of time. In a series of intense dialogues with God, Bess begs for Jan's return back to shore immediately, and when Jan is paralyzed in a freak accident, her wish is granted. Convinced that her prayers caused Jan's tragedy, Bess devotes her life to redeeming herself however she can. Jan insists that she experience sexual relations with a series of strangers, relating to him her escapades. Obeying his wish, she begins to see that her actions are restoring Jan's health, sparking her into committing one reckless final sacrifice. Watson delivers one of the most stunningly naked screen debuts in screen history, filling BREAKING THE WAVES with an intensity that is tragic, yet somehow hopeful.
Release Date: 01 September 2003
Running Time: 153 minutes
Production Year: 1996
Main Language: English