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|Index||141 reviews in total|
117 out of 142 people found the following review useful:
Nothing typical, everything beautiful in a movie., 9 February 2004
Author: ShrinkSteve from Hurricane, WV
This is not an ordinary movie. Watching this film is like watching a poem. it is too bad that some reviewers here have to see everything in the plug and play mode meant for short attention spans. This is a work of art intended to be tasted, smelled, seen, and touched. It enlivens the senses, touches the heart, and moves you with little dialog. Blanchett doesn't have to speak. Her face tells the pain of her loss, her remorse for her actions, and her lack of relief from her revenge. Ribisi is stunning as the outwardly simple, infatuated boy-like man with subtly revealed inner strength and cunning. Sometimes it is nice to take a break from the usual fare and take a ride on a work of art. I loved this film and will watch it again.
80 out of 101 people found the following review useful:
Absolutely Gorgeous, 4 November 2005
Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
This is an unusual film, start to finish, particularly finish. Why?
It's a suspense film but not all that suspenseful, especially in light of today's bloody action scenes.
It has an ending that is not really an ending.
It's not listed (or categorized at rental stores) as a "foreign film" but much of the movie is spoken in Italian.
In other words, this is hard to label. Throw in an odd romance, some spectacular Tuscan scenery (actually wonderful cinematography all the way through), a slow-moving but involving storyline and one of this generation's most-interesting actresses (Cate Blanchett) and you have a film worth investigating.
A word of warning, especially to younger people: this film might be too slow for what you are used to seeing. If you want action, skip this. This film is more for people into visuals and a different story. Subtitles also turn off a lot of people, and you need them here.
As someone who just loves great visuals, this is an astonishing piece of work - just magnificent to view. I also appreciated the director's "sky cam" with some wonderful aerial shots.
The "R" rating comes from a very, very brief sex scene, which doesn't involve the major characters. There is almost no profanity in here. A strange film to label but it sure is a visual treat. I liked it even more on the second viewing
70 out of 87 people found the following review useful:
thin, short, refined, 3 October 2003
Author: thomasbuster from vienna, austria
'Heaven' is a wonderfully subtle film, full of refined camera work and
scarce in dialogue. It stands as a good representation for the 'X Filme'
project that Tom Tykwer co-heads, which aims to create films both new and
thought-provoking as well as successful in their theater runs.
At roughly an hour and a half, 'Heaven' is a cinematic triumph that nudges open the gates to the philosophy and psychology of the lone man or woman along with those of society on the whole. It takes place in Italy, but Tykwer himself stated in an interview that really it could have been shot in any number of places with the message remaining the same. 'Heaven' is a thinly-scripted, in-depth commentary on issues prevailing throughout the modern world. Drugs, sex, sexuality, identity and the fibres that make up humans as a race are what this film revolves around: it is not a film for tourists or spectators. The excellent performances of Giovanni Ribisi and Cate Blanchett (apart and together) should only be missed if you are mainly looking for external adventure and action. Though it shares its part in weapons, scheme and drama, 'Heaven' is not blockbuster material: it is art material.
56 out of 78 people found the following review useful:
Wonderful, 13 January 2004
Author: ptrob from Los Angeles, California
A gorgeous film, start to finish. Within ten minutes you'll know your in
hands of a real talent. By the middle you'll be hypnotized. It's ravishing
And yet it's not all soppy. The whole point of seeing this film isn't pretty pictures, but a slowly evolving story and relationship between two people caught in a hellish situation. That it's gorgeous, fascinating, and spell-like all in one is just part of the treat.
I've seen other posters here complain that the direction of this film isn't in the tradition of "Three Colors" or other of Krzysztof Kieslowski's work; as if, because the story is based on one of his ideas, the follow-through had to be some sort of homage. That strikes me as totally irrelevant. The idea came to other hands, who made a film according to their own lights. There's no need to compare what-might-have-beens. This is a beautiful, transcendent film. See it.
89 out of 150 people found the following review useful:
Of the 1,000's of films I've seen and taught in college classes, this is perhaps the greatest of them all., 20 February 2005
Author: boru33 (email@example.com) from United States
Obviously, from the summary of this review, I consider _Heaven_ perhaps
the most beautiful film I've seen. As a writer and professor, I still
consider film my foremost love of all the arts. In consequence, I've
seen thousands of films--and those include nearly every one of the
hundreds which are considered the greatest in the medium.
After multiple viewings, I place Heaven at the top. The direction and cinematography are both remarkable, the story utterly compelling, and the performances--especially Cate's--beyond compare. It is actually the overwhelming power and beauty of Cate that's the core of the film's art. It's not just "acting," but the combination of unearthly beauty, top-tier cinematography, *and* her talent that makes this a level above Streep, Dench, Bergman, Hepburn, and any other great at their absolute best.
I suppose it's hard to imagine the existence of a full level beyond what we consider--previously--to have been the most beautiful and artful female performance on screen. But that level is here, and it's clear.
30 out of 45 people found the following review useful:
Beautiful cinematography and music, 17 March 2003
Author: rbverhoef (firstname.lastname@example.org) from The Hague, Netherlands
Cate Blanchett is Philippa, an English teacher who plants a bomb in an
office. She wants to kill the boss there because he is a drugdealer and
because his fault children died. The boss is not killed, four innocent
people are, including two children. In jail she is interrogated and a
translater named Filippo (Giovanni Ribisi) falls in love with her and helps
her. I will not reveal with what exactly or how he helps her but the woman
will have the chance to pay her dues on her own way.
The story set in Italy (Blanchett and Ribisi speak perfectly Italian in the movie) is a beautiful, tragic and intelligent one. The cinematography is great. Together with the music the film takes it time and doesn't rush things. It makes the movie, with a lot of symbolism, even more beautiful. Very interesting, written by the late Krzysztof Kieslowky (writer/director of Dekalog and Trois Couleurs) and Krzysztof Piesiewicz and directed by Tom Tykwer (director of Lola Rennt). Ribisi is very good and Blanchett is great.
25 out of 37 people found the following review useful:
Beautiful and Brilliant, 9 April 2006
Author: skyscraperofprocrastinat from Canada
This is one of Blanchett's most under-rated pieces of work. Not only stunning in it's visual and directing effects, but it has a screenplay that is hard to beat. Blanchett and Ribisi have perfect chemistry and the intense storyline is there from the beginning. I can't believe some of these usercomments said that the movie was slow-paced. Huh? The last half hour or so wasn't as dramatic as the first half, but its obvious why...they are forming their connection. There is still the intense worry that they will be caught, but I personally was more interested in seeing them form and discover their love for one another despite the stressful circumstance.I recommend this to anybody who wants to see a unique yet still stunning movie.
16 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
UnderItalian, 2 October 2003
Author: tedg (tedg@FilmsFolded.com) from Virginia Beach
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
All movies are about other movies, never life.
Kieslowski made a career out of making films that take a national filmmaking style and twisting them to new purposes, letting us know he is doing so in the process. `Three Colors' was as much about French filmmaking and the French national character as it was the stories within. That business about watching with the watching creating accidents of fate...
He planned a similar trilogy that worked with Italian themes in life, but especially Italian filmmaking. Italian films are about the freshness of captured impulse, about excessive emotion and excessive theatricality expressing that emotion for the screen. About characters, never situations. About talking, often with overlapping threads. About the magic of place created by the magic of people.
Kieslowskis method (like Ang Lee's method) is to come ever so close to the soul of the thing but be different in ways that matter but don't necessarily show. That's why you end up haunted by something that seems ordinary.
In this case, we have the importance of family but it is outside of the peer pressure that drives the thing in Tuscany. We have the magic of the land, but it is magic that the characters enter by transcending it rather than the `normal' way of creating it in the soil by presence.
But most of all, we have passion almost exclusively without words. We have love driving fate and not the other way around. We have emotional minimalism down to the music. We have Griebe's odd colors like frescos instead of real earth. We have always the threat that this is really magical rather than real.
To make this work requires an actress who can pull the entire world with her. The less noise she makes, the more we hear. Cate Blanchett is one of the three most powerful, multilayered actresses alive, and possibly the only one whose scalp could become the whole landscape. Watch how much she does with so little actual motion. She's changing the way we dream.
BillyBob wrote `The Gift' as if he really meant it, and with the same two actors created something blunt.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
26 out of 46 people found the following review useful:
Another great performance by Cate The Great, 20 September 2003
Author: bama1111 (email@example.com) from United States
A believer in coincidence might say that it could be a coincidence that every movie I've seen involving Cate Blanchett has been very, very enjoyable. I, on the other hand, consider it to be a matter of her great performances [along with those of her fellow actors, of course]. But she is the one common denominator. Whether it be drama, comedy, period pieces or whatever, you can always count on an outstanding performance from this lady. And Heaven is no exception. I can't quite label her the "Best Actress" of her generation but she's certainly in the top 3, in my opinion. And, as is usually the case, a fine performance by Giovanni Ribisi [her co-star in another movie, The Gift]. I rated this movie as a 10. Check it out and see if you agree and, even if you don't, you won't be disappointed.
12 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
a quiet, poetic drama, 14 February 2004
Author: filmnoiresse from Seattle
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
i gave this movie a 9, because such an intelligent work of art is so rare
these days of big-budget action/nonsense. this is a poem to love and hope
amid violence and despair.
blanchett and ribisi speak mostly italian (and do an excellent job) - that is, when they do speak. this is a quietly taut character study of two disparate souls who communicate mostly wordlessly.
the cinematography promotes the dream-like effect the story has on the viewer, bringing us intimately into the same space with the two main characters.
it became apparent the ending would be "sad," but i had no idea it would be so lyrical, so gentle, so hopeful. i strongly suggest this film to anyone who is interested in near-perfect acting, tight direction, lovely cinematography, and a story that will pierce you.
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