Lars von Trier became an international sensation with this galvanizing realist fable about sex and spiritual transcendence. Emily Watson stuns, in an Oscar-nominated performance, as Bess, a simple, pious newlywed in a tiny Scottish village who gives herself up to a shocking form of martyrdom after her husband (Stellan Skarsgård) is paralyzed in an oil-rig accident. Breaking the Waves, both brazen and tender, profane and pure, is an examination of the expansiveness of faith and of its limits.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.3 out of 5
32 Ratings
32 Ratings

85% TOMATOMETER

Critics Consensus: Breaking the Waves offers a remarkable testament to writer-director Lars von Trier's insight and filmmaking skill -- and announces Emily Watson as a startling talent.

18+ COMMON SENSE

Gloomy '90s drama has cursing, nudity, mature themes.

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