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Heaven
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Reviews & Ratings for
Heaven More at IMDbPro »

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17 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Tom Tykwer's best?

10/10
Author: campphoto-1 from United States
8 February 2006

This movies changes gears throughout and draws the audience in. Unlike many American directors, Mr. Tykwer gives us a non-formula film detailing the duplicity of good and evil. The bad/good guy (woman) is a murderer by choice-accident? It requires the audience to think of consequences and actions. Part cautionary tale, chase film, mystery, with love and redemption, the film is emotionally moving and beautifully photographed, especially the ending with the helicopter ascending into the sky (heaven?).

Mr. Tykwer scored a big hit in Germany with his previous "Run, Lola Run". The similarities with Heaven are the main character is female and stacked up against the odds, as with "The Warrior and the Princess" which has a fantastic symbolic ending. Howcome it takes a German male director to portray females as real heroic figures without being typical action-cartoonish representations?

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Cate Blanchett, held for murder, escapes with the help of Giovanni Ribisi

6/10
Author: msroz from United States
18 October 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have mostly positive feelings about "Heaven". The setup is flawless. The cinematography is beautiful. The pacing and manner of scenes are typically Italian. The script is literate. The police, or some of them, are shown as corrupt, hung up on terrorism, and prone to SWAT raids; and such portrayals are welcome. The story incorporates love as a main theme, and with love comes loyalty through thick and thin. Ribisi's love for Cate Blanchett is entirely understandable and believable. She is, after all, very attractive and vulnerable in the part (and maybe not in the part too).

In my opinion, the latter part of the movie didn't come up to the first part, the reason being that I did not feel that Cate really fell in love with Ribisi. In addition, she seems to have changed her mind from wanting to die to wanting to escape, and it was not altogether clear why. Also, Ribisi had been extremely smart about every detail, up to the point where he decides he wants to see where she grew up. But, as a policeman, he had to know that police would be looking in just that area.

I think the story let us down from the escape onwards by becoming more of a simple love story. It should have combined that and made that more believable by showing them facing her conscience and facing the searching authorities in more detail.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Excellent acting and full of suspense

8/10
Author: barryrd from Canada
24 June 2012

Heaven is a chilling movie, full of suspense, that takes the viewer into the world of two young people on the run. It begins with a powerful dramatic punch that sets the course and tone of the rest of the movie. I must admit to liking subtitles, since I have hearing loss but I also find the Italian dialogue gives realism to the location. Cate Blanchett and Giovanni Ribisi are the unlikely couple, who find themselves fleeing the authorities. Ribisi plays an extraordinary role with total credibility, devising clever strategies to foil the police. Blanchett is a powerful presence who keeps the audience riveted to the screen, particularly in the opening scenes. The acting is superb by the supporting cast as well as the leading actors. The cinematography is excellent, and spans scenes of narrow streets, villages, barns and warehouses as well as the open countryside. I didn't find the movie slow and brooding, as some suggest. On the contrary, it seems to move quickly without flagging. There are some tender moments that are very moving. The ending is subdued but the overall impact makes it well worth viewing.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Heaven... on Earth

Author: mapr9 from El Salvador
13 September 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie is ironically entitled Heaven. Phillipa(Blanchett) goes through literally Hell, through the entire movie. Perhaps the only moments of hope she has, are those alongside to Filippo (Ribisi). And it's as if she "learns" to love him back for everything he does for her throughout the movie.

The movie is very slow paced. Not a lot happens, and even minutes after the first half the main plot hasn't resolved yet. This can work on either way... as a suspense-builder or make it a boring movie.

The soundtrack, the scenery and the directing are amazing. It's just fitting. Blanchett as usual is perfect, but for some reason, this just doesn't strike me as a role for her. Ribisi, who speaks flawless Italian, proves he can also be the leading man. Again, like most of his characters, there is a hidden, kind of obssessive force that gets him doing things, but that's the beauty of his character here. No one knows how or why, but he falls for Blanchett's character and goes to great pains to help her. An unusual love story.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant Enigma

9/10
Author: jwassermann from Canada
9 July 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The never-ending brilliant ventures of Cate Blanchett and the directorial hand of Tom Tykwer brought me to this dubiously titled film. I'm glad I overcame my distrust. The film continues to haunt me. Blanchett's subtle portrayal of an English teacher in Italy's northern Torino region who is driven by the self-interested neglect of her husband's murder by the Carabinieri (police) into herself attempting to exterminate the the drug lord behind the murder, as well as the deaths of scores of children whose addiction has brought them to the ultimate despair - that performance is sublime. Then, in custody, as she learns that her home-made bomb has not killed the drug lord but has taken the lives of four innocent people, she is overcome by shock. Only the young police officer Filippo (Giovanni Ribisi) who brings her back to her feet, can feel in the coldness of her hand how genuine her response has been, rather than the play-acting ascribed to her by her interrogators. It is that moment that transcends the hopelessness of both Filippo and Philippa (Blanchett) have come to feel and drives the story to its end in a kind of "heaven" above Montepulciano, Tuscany. Realistic? Certainly not. A haunting piece of art. Absolutely.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Cate forces you to forgive the unforgivable

10/10
Author: ewa-3 from United States
24 October 2002

Far from a plot-driven film, "Heaven" forces you to keep remembering that the heroine has killed four completely innocent people as a result of a poorly planned and executed attempt to assassinate a drug lord. All of this takes place under the credits. By the time the movie itself has started, the viewer is faced with some very sticky ethical and moral questions.

Blanchett's character, an English teacher in Italy, realizes that she cannot forgive herself for her actions but must face the consequences. She does, brilliantly, and with the help of Giovanni Ribisi, playing a young caribinieri officer who (almost) falls in love with the prisoner the first time he sees her.

The movie looks and sounds great. The score, often played by just a piano and violin, is terrific. Many of the scenes toward the end of the movie are shot in the sun drenched countryside of northern Italy (Lombardy) and the shots from the beginning of the movie, overhead and looking straight down at the red-topped roofs of an Italian town, are stunning.

There are a few shots that call attention to themselves--one in particular, when the lovers run from a house, across a field and wind up under a large tree. Looking at it, one is aware that it could only have been shot from a helicopter--although it may also refer (in advance) to the rest of the movie.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Tykwer, not Kieslowski

8/10
Author: gealach from Turin, Italy
8 October 2002

Lots of negative critics says that this movie is not the one Kieslowski would have made. I think this is a good film made by a good director, perfectly following his kind of cinema and his thoughts. Tykwer offers us another little masterpiece, kind and deep, on how life can be, on chance and choice, on love and hate. With two great actors, Ribisi and Blanchett, and a lot of beautiful settings.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Hypnotic

10/10
Author: Nolf_ from Hanover NH USA
2 August 2004

This film was brilliant. Upon finishing it, I felt like I was in a trance that I still haven't "woken" up from. The pictures, the music, and the acting were so great, and the theme that Heaven deals with, the relationship between coincidence and fate, is so interesting and so well done here. The last scene is beautiful, and I remember praying to God to not allow this movie to ever end. Also, what I love about this film is that even though the protagonists aren't the typical definition of "good", "pure", or "morally correct", I still found myself rooting for them to escape the police and for their love to blossom even more.

This movie is full of magic and even after a year of viewing Heaven, it hasn't lost any of it. It will stay with me forever and ever.

Ten out of five stars.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

subtle, surprising, engaging

10/10
Author: msdawntreader from Santa Fe NM, USA
22 June 2003

I loved this movie, found it mesmerizing. It has all the elements of your basic thriller but with an entirely different implementation, making it subtle, profound, uplifting and unexpected. Cate Blanchett is fabulous. Just see it!

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Mixed Bag

7/10
Author: saint999 from New York
8 October 2002

When this film is good it is very, very good but when it is bad it is horrid. Excellent cinematography, some excellent direction (the opening is put together like a jigsaw puzzle and the plot and counterplot during the interrogation of the main character was intricate and amusing), some excellent acting. Unfortunately the motivation of the main character is ridiculous beyond belief. When the Turin Police don't return her calls about a drug dealer she considers responsible for several deaths she decides to do the only possible thing: kill him with a BOMB set off in an office building DURING WORKING HOURS. If the character had gone totally beserk or was simply a homicidal moron or even a terrorist ... but no, this is a loving teacher of young children who faints in horror when she finds out four innocent people got killed. Cate Blanchett should get an Oscar for keeping a straight face. This crud passes for moral complexity but actually it is just a jumble of contrasting stereotypes stuffed into a single character. If you want to see a movie about how good people end up as vigilantes see In the Bedroom.

After messing around with "moral complexity" the movie opts for being a love story and the luscious cinematography serves it well. There are many striking, haunting images. Ribisi is convincing as a strange, sweet young man who falls off a cliff when he falls in love. Blanchett shows no feeling at all. Maybe she is still trying to keep a straight face - the dialogue is awful. Then the cops arrive with assault rifles. But in shoddy movies men with guns can't hit the side of a barn so the lovers are able to steal the police chopper.

Did Tykwer mess up the script or was it just unfinished?

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