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Reviews & Ratings for
Heaven More at IMDbPro »

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Contemporary Allegory Done Beautifully

Author: samkan from Poconos, Pennsylvania
11 October 2009

Allegory is were the story parallels a famous parable, fable or story. It usually involves human virtue and/or frailty, which serve as the actual point; i.e., not the setting, characters or even the plot. Some purists would argue that the virtue or weakness must match some classical theme; e.g., a biblical or Shakespearean tale told in modern method. Critics may argue a better allegory may involve characterization and plot as well as any other movie. Not necessarily.

The story line (I almost hesitate to call it a "plot") in HEAVEN is interesting if not at all detailed, fleshed out, etc. Other than our two main characters, no character, with the limited exception of Phillepe's father, is given screen time, dialogue. Consider how easy it would have been to throw in some details to make the bad guy more evil, Phillepe's little brother more altruistic, etc. Even Phillepe's father is not really explained, serving bettor to enhance his son's conviction.

What we are left with is this beautiful arch of innocence, tragedy,obsession,redemption, consummation and surrender. The bookending helicopter tool was a clever device, if irritating to some. But it doesn't matter how they died, kill'em in Bonnie & Clyde fashion if you like. If Cate's escape was clumsy, how cool was it to put the two in the attic, Phillepe's boyhood hideaway, for developing the relationship? Contrary to the cries that the plot was unbelievable, I found it clever how the plot, secondary characters, circumstances, etc., were so successfully minimized.

When dad arrives in the rural village to meet with the fugitives, a shot freezes the two in their skinhead haircuts, punk jeans and tee shirts. They look no different than two ordinary beatniks, disenchanted youth, etc., and most of all, look so comfortable in their condition. The two come from such different backgrounds and have arrived therein from entirely different means and motivations. Yet there they sit, looking interchangeably the same and likewise united in purpose and conviction. Such is a much greater cinematic feat than a Hollywood getaway thriller.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A truly romantic film for those few who understand love.

Author: vitaleralphlouis from United States
22 December 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Watching this a second time on rental from Video Vault, I wanted to see exactly why I fell so hard for Cate Blanchet, specifically in this movie. I also showed part of it to my oldest friend who said, "My God, she's beautiful." This quite true though she retains the same jeans, white T-shirt and athletic shoes wardrobe from start to finish. (Important spoilers: There is no nude scene. #2. There is no sex scene either).

Set beautifully in Italy, Cate plays a recent widow hell-bent on revenge against the man who killed her husband. In trying to destroy her enemy, she accidentally murders a man and his two young daughters, a cleaning woman; but NOT her intended target. In police custody and in deep remorse, a young policeman falls for her and plans her escape. The heart of the movie is the relationship between this young man and how he courts her and helps her at the risk of his own destruction. Give the filmmakers credit by nailing this with 100% credibility. A person would have to have once known truly strong love to have made this film.

As a mature man with plenty of experience I can tell you that I was envious in the extreme of this young man's situation every minute that Cate was on screen. This you do not get often.

From 2004 through 2008, Hollywood has offered virtually nothing for adult audiences above the age of 11. You don't have to accept their junk. There are ample movies like this one available at Netflix and elsewhere, and they don't cost $11 a person to see.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

a crime story that develops into a beautiful love story

Author: dromasca from Herzlya, Israel
1 March 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am a great fan of Cate Blanchett which seems unable to be less than superb lately, and this film is no exception. She radiates an interior beauty that is equal only to Katharine Hepburn's in her best years. Her presence in a film is enough reason for me to like it.

Tom Tykwer's 'Heaven' gives however more reasons of satisfaction. It starts like a crime story with a British teacher in Italy killing four people while trying to revenge the death of her husband. While under questioning for the crime a young policeman falls in love with her, and here the movie turns into one of the most beautiful love stories I have seen later. The younger man will help her escape against any logic but the logic of love. The unavoidable end is superb, reminding Arthur Penn's 'Bonnie and Clyde'.

The movie is also a testimony of the talent of the great Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski who wrote the script, and maybe intended to make the movie. Certainly, a movie of Kieslowski would have looked different, but the result here is not bad at all either.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

When 'Kieslowski' goes to Hollywood!

Author: bnsash from Malaysia
4 December 2007

Im a fan of Kieslowski's for some years and have studied his every move in the industry....his way of storytelling was so simple and artistic!...not in a disturbing way!...... I like Tom Tykwer's movies too....Tom Tykwer has a post modernistic view in his you see in this(Heaven) very realistic movie sometimes the audience wonders if this thing is real or what!.... I liked Heaven...but the Kieslowski's name makes so many differences here.....the movie was so Hollywood-ish!.....glamorous design-sets...eye-catching locations and shots....helicopter shots....these things were real but not that real which Kieslowski had in mind I believe! I call this movie when Kieslowski gets stuck in Hollywood's "make everything perfect cuz we have the money" bureaucracy! the story could be more complicated just like Kieslowski always did!.....but the story was the last thing Tykwer paid attention to......maybe he wanted to tell everyone "guys Im not Kieslowski"!

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:


Author: Alarming_Passion from Arcadia CA
15 May 2007

Cate Blanchett was awesome in this film, playing off of Giovanni Ribisi, who ain't chopped liver. You may remember him as the medic in Saving Private Ryan, or Charlotte's ignorant husband, John, in Lost in Translation.

Blanchett is one of those rare actors that become their character and you forget they're acting, which has to be the ultimate success for a actor. I can barely think of any others that pull this off; Nicole Kidman, Gary Oldman. Yes, Ribisi also. There are others. For Gary Oldman, at least, I think it may have worked against him if you consider fame a measure of success. He's so good you seldom recognize him as Gary Oldman. He's always his character. Come to think of it, considering Ribisi in his roles he's in the same boat.

Heaven was a great film. It's an incredible story and goes uphill from there. It's one of films you'll only find on late night cable or an indie channel. Incredibly underrated. It's a very touching and powerful story. It's timely in dealing with the official law enforcement paranoia over terrorism and the propensity to call someone a terrorist as a means to quickly legitimate brutal obtuse disregard for the human soul. Although, this aspect is a mere sideline to the plot.

The film is a superb story by Krzysztof Kieslowski and Krzysztof Piesiewicz; directed by Tom Tykwer. Heaven was the first of a trilogy, Heaven, Hell and Purgatory. But, Kieslowski unfortunately died before completing the last of them. Hell or L'Enfer as it's titled, is highly rated and apparently as touching a story as Heaven.

Heaven takes place in Italy but quickly reverts to English dialog making it an interestingly international piece.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Intriguing off-beat film

Author: Gnomenclat from New York, NY
25 February 2004

Cate Blanchette, as usual, is wonderful in this film. I have never seen Giovanni Ribisi in anything before but was quite impressed with his performance as well. I rented this movie just because Cate is in it, not knowing what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised. The cinematography is gorgeous and the score is beautifully understated. After watching it, I had to look up the director and was surprised to find it was the same guy who did "Run Lola Run." I enjoyed that film too but "Heaven" was so different. Equally impressive is that the director also is the composer and the scores for "Run Lola Run" and "Heaven" couldn't be more different. This film is a must-see for Blanchette fans especially.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Another Tykwer Love/Hate Film

Author: ricephoto from Colorado
14 February 2004

Quite a few people seem to think Tykwer's last 2 films (Heaven and The Princess and the Warrior) are pretentious, and I suppose I can see what they mean. Still, I have to disagree. I'll take Tykwer's abstract, philosophical, but admittedly flawed films over most of the over calculated, manipulative and cold stories that are so common.

I just have to respond to some of the comments that have been made about "Heaven."

"The central story of intrigue and suspense is completely supplanted." "Heaven" is *not* about intrigue or suspense. So that "central story" is not supplanted at all.

"An Overrated Movie With a Bad Screenplay and a Ridiculous End" You're taking the end literally? Well, of course you think it is ridiculous.

My point is, I can understand people not liking this film. It is definitely not for everyone. The problem is, many of the reasons given for not liking it show that the posters just aren't getting what the point of the film really is. I suggest some of them watch it again and let go of what they think should happen and judge it by what actually does happen.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The Fatalist

Author: eldraque from Surrey, B.C., Canada
25 August 2003

The philosophy of determinism has long been an unresolved philosophical question. On an emotional level, it manifests itself as having a semblance of free will, all the while feeling powerless against the forces conducting our lives.

An interesting, if ambiguous question. In comes Tykwer with a talented cast (Blanchett especially) and an ambitious camera. The photography in 'Heaven' had an appreciation for geometry, it cut from long shot to long shot, in different angles, while keeping the subject in frame. The third act of the film is surely the strongest, Tykwer takes full advantage of the sumptuous beauty of the Italian villa.

A quietly beautiful film, I think the stoically composed camera and musical score seem only to add more depth of meaning to the outbursts of emotion and frenetic action. The ending is more than any moviegoer could ever ask for.


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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

I'm not a Twyker's fan (nor a Spielberg's)

Author: smartalec-j from United Kingdom
20 August 2003

This hypocritical drama/romance is triggered by the classic kieslowski-esque "blind chance". The rest of it is about an elysian land(e)scape where a would-be (bald/bold) "warrior" tries to take his "princess". Incidentally , and regrettably, it also features an actor-with-an-italian-name (Ribisi), who pretends to be both an italian (thin) character (a "carabiniere" ) and indeed, an italian actor; and it has the structure of an hypotetically "true story". The latter consideration may be underlined by the finale, in which Twyker seems to be influenced by the story of Nadine Vaujour, depicted in Marion Bagdadhi's "La Fille De L'Air" (1992). What is worth noticing, the effort to make it `true', sort of told the producers ( I'd like to guess) to set their film in Italy ( land of heavenly "viste", hellish conspiracies ). Some of the dialogues , which I have to admit I can't recall "verbatim", are about the (lack of) point in fighting against evil. Linking this back to the producers (Minghella , Pollack) it seemed to me ironic that their countries of origin recently would make you think more than Italy about the relationship between the deaths of the innocents and the plots of the "powerfuls" (coalesced).

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful but drawn out

Author: laphroaigtenyear from London
17 August 2003

Heaven is definitely a well produced film. The photography is beautiful. The script is intelligent and understated, stuffed with small detail that bring the film to life. Finally, the two quirky leads (Fillipo in particular) are a refreshing break from the usual charismatic Hollywood types.


I suspect a lot of the effort is directed towards making a beautiful film rather than a (necessarily) entertaining one. I got the distinct impression that the plot had run out after sixty minutes. Heaven is a worthy film and I enjoyed it as an example of a well made film, but I'm not sure I'll recommend it to anyone.

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