Breaking the Waves (1996)
Average Rating: 8.2/10
Reviews Counted: 43
Fresh: 37 | Rotten: 6
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 8/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 1
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 29,871
With Breaking The Waves, director Lars von Trier fashions an often disturbing tale of the singular power of love. Bess (the Oscar-nominated Emily Watson) is a naïve, borderline simple young woman who lives in a Scottish coastal town ruled by the religious doctrine of its council of elders. Recovering from a mental breakdown caused by the death of her brother, Bess marries a rough yet compassionate and attentive oil rig worker named Jan (Stellan Skarsgård). For a brief time, the couple enjoys
Nov 29, 1996 Wide
Jul 26, 2005
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Von Trier may put his characters and the viewer through the ringer, yet his empathy toward both is unmistakable.
Here is a film that makes you feel like you've read the novel, seen the movie, and lived the life of a protagonist more empathetic than any other. You just might need a stiff drink afterward.
A powerful tear-jerker romantic drama that intriguingly also brings religion into the mix.
The synopsis doesn't begin to do justice to the psychological and emotional complexities of the tale.
The actors are superb. [But] it is the easiest thing in the world to do ... move people by destroying something beautiful.
Watson's mesmerising performance propels this sad but weirdly uplifting look at sex, spirituality and guilt.
Well done, but so incredibly depressing that it's not entertaining.
Brutal and passionate.
Quite simply the most emotionally devastating film I have ever seen....There is no better example of why film is such a powerful medium.
Audience Reviews for Breaking the Waves
- Bess McNeill: His name is Jan.
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