A woman on the run from the mob is reluctantly accepted in a small Colorado town. In exchange, she agrees to work for them. As a search visits the town, she finds out that their support has a price. Yet her dangerous secret is never far away.
Drama set in a repressed, deeply religious community in the north of Scotland, where a naive young woman named Bess McNeil meets and falls in love with Danish oil-rig worker Jan. Bess and Jan are deeply in love but, when Jan returns to his rig, Bess prays to God that he returns for good. Jan does return, his neck broken in an accident aboard the rig. Because of his condition, Jan and Bess are now unable to enjoy a sexual relationship and Jan urges Bess to take another lover and tell him the details. As Bess becomes more and more deviant in her sexual behavior, the more she comes to believe that her actions are guided by God and are helping Jan recover.Written by
Jonathan Broxton <email@example.com>
(at around 7 mins) When Bess is in bed with her sister-in-law, the blanket is on, then off, Bess' shoulder. See more »
His name is Jan.
I do not know him.
He's from the lake.
You know we do not favor matrimony with outsiders.
Can you even tell us what matrimony is?
It's when two people are joined in God.
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In the home video release of the film, the 8th chapter card is accompanied by Elton John's "Your Song", but in the theatrical release, that chapter card was accompanied by David Bowie's "Life On Mars". Most recent video releases (such as the Fox UK Region 2 DVD) use "Life On Mars." See more »
The first time I saw Breaking the Waves, I was astonished that Emily Watson had not acted for the cinema before her turn as Bess McNeill. What she brings to the role of the naive Scottish girl offers a clinic on superlative acting that could humble veterans with ten times the experience. Another thing that makes this film so special is that it never backs away from its vivid and mature examination of love, commitment, and aspects of the metaphysical. I easily class this work as one of the top films of the 1990s. Director Lars von Trier is a true visionary, and the (largely hand-held) cinematography by Robby Muller perfectly defines the tone of the film -- in fact, the theatre where I saw Breaking the Waves posted a disclaimer that warned anyone who suffers from motion or sea-sickness to see the film at their own peril!
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