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Of the 1,000's of films I've seen and taught in college classes, this is perhaps the greatest of them all.
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.