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Breaking the Waves

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Original title
Breaking the Waves
Running time
159 min.
Denmark Denmark
Lars von Trier
Joachim Holbek
Robby Müller
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Trust Film Svenka / Liberator Production
Drama. Romance | Disability. Religion. Small Town Life (Non-North American). Romantic Drama. Cult Movie
Movie Groups
Golden Heart Trilogy
Synopsis / Plot
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.
1996: Nominated for Oscar: Best Actress (Emily Watson)
1996: 2 Nominations for Golden Globe: Best Movie Drama, Actress Drama (Watson)
1996: New York Film Critics Circle: 3 Awards: Actress, Director, Cinematography
1996: Nominated for BAFTA Awards: Best Actress (Emily Watson)
1996: Cannes Film Festival: Jury Prize (Lars Von Trier). 2 Nominations
1996: Cesar Awards (France): Best Foreign Language Picture
1996: Goya Awards (Spain): Nominated to Best European Movie
1996: Satellite Awards: Best Motion Picture Foreign Language Film. 4 Nominations
1996: Independent Spirit Awards: Nominated for Best Foreign Film
1996: Guldbagge Awards (Sweden): Best Foreign Film
1996: 3 European Film Awards: Best Film, Actress (Watson) & FIPRESCI Award
1996: Los Angeles Film Critics Association: New Generation Award
1996: Chicago Film Critics Awards: 3 Nominations, including Best Director
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