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Breaking the Waves [Blu-ray]

Emily Watson , Stellan Skarsgård , Lars von Trier    Suitable for 18 years and over   Blu-ray
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
Price: £14.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Breaking the Waves [Blu-ray] + Nymphomaniac Vol I. & Vol II. (2 Disc Blu-ray) + Blue Is the Warmest Colour [Blu-ray]
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Product details

  • Actors: Emily Watson, Stellan Skarsgård, Katrin Cartlidge, Jean-Marc Barr, Udo Kier
  • Directors: Lars von Trier
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 27 Oct 2014
  • Run Time: 159 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00H2SUNV4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 78,768 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Set in an unmercifully rugged, coastal village in Scotland in the 1970s, this extraordinary film by Lars von Trier stars British actress Emily Watson as a barely contained naive named Bess, who holds regular conversations with God and whose pure and intensely personal faith is hardly tolerated by the gruesome Calvinist elders of her church. Bess marries an oil-rig worker (Stellan Skarsgard) and comes to believe that erotic discovery is a part of God's grand plan. But after her spouse is hurt in an accident, she decides that divine instruction is leading her toward the life of a prostitute--with disastrous but somehow beautiful results. Von Trier (The Kingdom) has made a wonderful, entirely unexpected, and rigorous work of discovery in this film, with a formal visual design that recalls classic films by Carl Theodor Dreyer and Robert Bresson. Watson is a phenomenon, her wide-eyed wonder at the world as God's handiwork a breathtaking portrayal of conviction. --Tom Keogh

Product Description

Featuring an astonishing Oscar-nominated performance by Emily Watson, Lars von Trier's powerful Breaking the Waves tell the story of Bess, a naive young woman who marries Jan, a handsome oil-rig worker. Their martial bliss is cut when an accident on the rig leaves Jan paralysed. Believing he will never make love to Bess again, he tells her to take other lovers, convincing her that this will help his recovery. Bess is sent spiralling into a world of dark emotions she cannot understand.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking Bess 25 Oct 2006
By Mrs.D
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I saw this movie for the first time tonight, and I am completely blown away. I had it on while I was doing other things so missed bits of it, but it gradually wound its way into my consciousness and I sat, transfixed, through the remainder, and I *will* be getting this for my collection.

I don't know directors. I don't know cinematography. I'd never heard of this film before tonight, but what I do know is that this is a masterpiece. It was as powerful and touching as it was brutal and raw.

Bess' conversations with God are believable in a way that I would never have credited. Her fragility and unwavering goodness and devotion to both God and her husband worked so well that I can't even begin to describe it. Someone said that it had a disappointing ending, but I can only think that they either missed the point or left before it was finished.

While the elders of the church and village are consigning Bess to eternal damnation and hell, the heavens ring out their approval of Bess and their acceptance of her sacrifices, of her love, and a miracle is born.

This film is, in itself, a miracle. The acting was superb throughout. The method of filming added to the power of the story. It is not a pleasant film. It will definitely not be for everyone. It's a love story that batters you to exhaustion, and when it finally releases you, you are grateful for the battering, for the opportunity to have experienced Bess in all her beauty and innocence and certainty.

The only films I can think of that even come close to the brilliance and brutality of this one are Pulp Fiction and Snatch, but this one goes further; it lacks the slickness of Hollywood. That isn't a criticism, either... it's a benefit.

I can't recommend it highly enough, but you will need guts to watch it.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly the most harrowing film ever 3 Jan 2002
Format:VHS Tape
The other reviews cover the story outline, so all I will say is that I was unable to talk about the film for days after; unable to leave the cinema for ages after the film & had to shut myself in the toilets until I could stop crying. It is beautiful, haunting, poignant, effective, artfully shot, the handheld render you as feeling part of the film, part of the characters, identifying with Bess, even if normally you would have nothing in common with her.
The surreal ending is not out of context, but enhances the magic created throughout the film, with each chapter opening as if on a painted landscape. There is nothing more to say - it is the film that has most affected me - and will forever continue to do so.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A disturbing and challenging masterpiece. 16 April 2006
This was the film that gave von Trier his much-deserved international breakthrough and revealed him as one of the most brilliant and uncompromising filmmakers of his generation. Breaking The Waves is set in one of the extremely religious and oppressive communities in the north-west of Scotland, where life is dominated by the ascetic and strictly protestant Free Church. The film centres on Bess (Emily Watson), a luminous, naïve and emotionally immature young woman who marries an outsider - the Swedish Jan (Stellan Skarsgård) who works on an oil platform. The idyll is shattered when Jan has an accident on the rig, which leaves him paralysed. Determined that his incapacity should not ruin his new bride's life, he encourages - and eventually manipulates - her to take a lover. Bess' naïve Christian faith and devotion to her husband result in tragic consequences. The plot of this film is highly melodramatic but is balanced by the way the film is shot (on Digital Video - one of the first films to do so), in a realistic documentary-style way which, coupled with the outstanding performances, not only make the film work, but give it an almost unbearable intensity. This is by no means an easy film to watch, but is a true work of genius and will stay with you long after you've seen it.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a beautiful and moving film 16 Jun 2003
By A Customer
Breaking the Waves is likely to be the most moving film you will ever see. It is not a mainstream film but its success didn't go unnoticed in Hollywood studios; this is one of the 'marginal' films produced in the mid 1990s, which influenced mainstream cinema's attempts to 'play around' with film narrative. A must-see for those who like films to be a little different. Director Lars Von Trier ('The Idiots' & 'Dancer in the Dark') was co-founder of the 'Dogme'film movement, which is also well worth investigating for anyone with a passion for film.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best film you'll ever watch! 5 Nov 2006
This is an amazing film!

I live where this film was made and the portrayal of the Church and the Elders is absolutely spot on. All the characters were brilliantly cast but Emily Watson was amazing as Bess.

I have never watched a film which made me feel the way this one did.

Everything about this film is fantastic! I can't really say much more than that!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Such power! 17 Nov 2012
By Adrian Drew TOP 500 REVIEWER
To have divided audiences so massively indicates the power of this astonishing film. Coming to it with no knowledge of the subject matter but some of the "Dogma" school of film production I was swept away by it's ambition and extraordinary accomplishment. I have never seen or read any work which deals so profoundly with the nature of religious faith. The attack made on the film for it's misogyny is understandable but I think misguided. Von Trier is not advocating or promoting such behaviour "simply" examining and presenting an admittedly extreme tale of "the divine fool's" (a classic literary and cultural archetype) relationship with the divine (see Dryer's Joan of Arc and even The Passion of The Christ). The performances are outstanding with Emily Watson both radiant and totally captivating in the epic lead role. No - this film is not for everyone! But for those who wish to see how cinema can transcend the obvious, the petty and the entertainingly inconsequential and grapple with subject matter of such staggering complexity and profundity - well "Breaking the Waves" is certainly for you. No, I don't believe the film's premise nor celebrate the "heroine's" life-choice - but I'm humbled by the power of Von Trier's vision, passion and magisterial artistry. For those who found the experience "boring", "offensive", & "rubbish" - well, there's always Eastenders and Come Dancing!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Didnt like this film, too slow.
Published 1 month ago by Mary Green.
5.0 out of 5 stars Original
Fabulous and very original film.
Published 1 month ago by Gary Abbott
5.0 out of 5 stars good film and good delivery service
I received the dvd within the expected time and in perfect conditions.
The film met the expectations and would recommend it.
Published 8 months ago by Sérgio José Antunes Timóteo
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie
This is not an easy film to watch and it will alternately move you to tears and laughter. It raises many providing questions on the nature of love, spituality and reality. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Anne G
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful !
I saw watched this film at least 6 times when it first came out and owned it on vhs. I am now getting a copy on dvd. It had a huge impact on me . Emily Watson is simple brilliant . Read more
Published 16 months ago by J. M. Matthews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
Emily Watson is so good in this film where she demonstrates the complexities of the character, Bess, with superb skill.
Published 17 months ago by margole
5.0 out of 5 stars BEYOND YOUR IMAGINATION
Published 21 months ago by AKIS CHR.
3.0 out of 5 stars not sure ....
Loved the dogma style , the bleak scandi approach to scotland . Emily Watson was amazing and also Stellan Skarsgard and of the late Karin cartlidge . Read more
Published 24 months ago by cartoon
1.0 out of 5 stars Gave up within the hour
Given that i live in a very rural community i thoght that there might be something that would draw me into this film. But no, indeed quite the opposite. Read more
Published on 19 Jun 2012 by KCEM1
5.0 out of 5 stars My number one movie ever
This is simply the best movie I have ever seen. It is a masterpiece and Emma Watson is truly amazing as Bess. Read more
Published on 5 Jun 2012 by Den
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