The first segment of Lars von Trier’s Golden Heart trilogy, Breaking the Waves opened in U.S. theaters in 1996. The story follows Jan Nyman (Stellan SkarsgÃ¥rd), an oilrig worker who, after suffering paralysis from an industrial accident, urges his simple and devoted wife Bess (Emily Watson) to sleep with other men. In Dogme 95 tradition the movie makes use of jump cuts and organic dialogue but breaks the rules by adding musical interludes and on-set locations.
Filmstar Factoid: Actress Emily Watson made her feature film debut as Bess McNeill and received an Oscar nomination for her work. She has since gone on to work on Anand Tuckerâ€™s Hilary and Jackie (which garnered her a second Oscar nom), Alan Parker’s Angela’s Ashes, Robert Altman’s Gosford Park and Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch-Drunk Love.