6.7/10
3,648
36 user 16 critic

The Discovery of Heaven (2001)

God is disappointed with the human race and wants his stone tablets back. An angel is given the assignment and, with Gabriëls help, tries to manipulate several humans on earth to get his ... See full summary »

Director:

Jeroen Krabbé

Writers:

Harry Mulisch (novel), Edwin de Vries
Reviews
3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

More Like This 

Moolaadé (2004)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

When a woman shelters a group of girls from suffering female genital mutilation, she starts a conflict that tears her village apart.

Director: Ousmane Sembene
Stars: Fatoumata Coulibaly, Maimouna Hélène Diarra, Salimata Traoré
We (2018)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Eight teens - four guys and four girls - are the best of friends. One summer, out of boredom they experiment with all manner of new means to entertain themselves. This degenerates into some extreme behaviour and will lead to tragedy.

Director: Rene Eller
Stars: Aimé Claeys, Tijmen Govaerts, Pauline Casteleyn
Left Luggage (1998)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Against a background of holocaust memories, a liberal Jewish girl becomes a nanny to a young Jewish boy with a disability and grows fond of him.

Director: Jeroen Krabbé
Stars: Laura Fraser, Adam Monty, Isabella Rossellini
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Political intrigue and deception unfold inside the United Nations, where a U.S. Secret Service agent is assigned to investigate an interpreter who overhears an assassination plot.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Sean Penn, Catherine Keener
Mama is boos! (1986)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

When a wife and mother of two finds out her husband has an affair, she tries to make his life a living hell.

Director: Ruud van Hemert
Stars: Peter Faber, Geert de Jong, Sanne van der Noort
Saxon (2007)
Comedy | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  

An ex-con returns to the corrupt housing estate where he grew up to investigate the disappearance of a quiz champion.

Director: Greg Loftin
Stars: Sean Harris, Tom Hopper, James Robinson
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

The film tells the love story between Hans (Barry Atsma) and Margje (Noortje Herlaar) - sweethearts since school. Hans grows up in a strict religious environment, with a brutal father. He ... See full summary »

Director: Ben Sombogaart
Stars: Gaite Jansen, Barry Atsma, Noortje Herlaar
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Director Martin Koolhoven takes a look at his favorite genres and their movies.

Stars: Martin Koolhoven
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In the 1970s a music promoter plucks Siamese twins from obscurity and grooms them into a freakish rock'n'roll act. A dark tale of sex, strangeness and rock music.

Directors: Keith Fulton, Louis Pepe
Stars: Luke Treadaway, Harry Treadaway, Jonathan Pryce
Trauma I (2004)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Awaking from a coma to discover his wife has been killed in a car accident, Ben's world may as well have come to an end. A few weeks later, Ben's out of hospital and, attempting to start a ... See full summary »

Director: Marc Evans
Stars: Colin Firth, Naomie Harris, Dorothy Duffy
Tonight's the Night (TV Movie 1987)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

The game of love starts in a typical blues bar. The hot and magic rhythm of the blues makes even the shiest man throw away his fears and participate in the erotic of the night.

Director: Bobby Roth
Stars: Belinda Bauer, Jack Blessing, Max Gail
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

For generations the name Albert Schweitzer has been synonymous with hands-on compassion and the power of Christ-like sacrifice. Now director Gavin Miller presents a landmark drama about the... See full summary »

Director: Gavin Millar
Stars: Jeroen Krabbé, Barbara Hershey, Judith Godrèche
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Maureen Lipman ... Figure 1
Will Bowden ... Angel (as Viv Weatherall)
Jeroen Krabbé ... Gabriel (as Jeroen Krabbe)
Stephen Fry ... Onno
Gillian Barge ... Onno's mother
Nettie Blanken Nettie Blanken ... Coba
Victoria Carling Victoria Carling ... Margareth Quist
Loïs Dols de Jong Loïs Dols de Jong ... Granddaughter Quist (as Loïs de Jong)
John Franklyn-Robbins ... Onno's father (as John Franklyn Robbins)
Geraldine Alexander ... Trees Quist
Nicholas Palliser Nicholas Palliser ... Diederik Quist
Greg Wise ... Max
Emma Fielding ... Helga
Sean Harris ... Bart Bork
Molly Hallam ... Red Haired Protestor
Edit

Storyline

God is disappointed with the human race and wants his stone tablets back. An angel is given the assignment and, with Gabriëls help, tries to manipulate several humans on earth to get his job done. But humans have a will of their own... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Toeval bestaat niet, alles gebeurt met een reden See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Netherlands | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 October 2001 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

A törvény terhe See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

NLG20,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,789,625
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

After all the auditions for 16-year-old Quinten were done without much success, Jeroen Krabbé stared out of the window and Neil Newbon happened to pass by. "That's what Quinten should look like" he mumbled, not yet knowing the guy was an actor. See more »

Quotes

Max: I've discovered you, you bastards!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Brows Held High: The Discovery of Heaven (2012) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Metaphysics
2 August 2005 | by diand_See all my reviews

The discovery of heaven is the magnum opus of Dutch writer Harry Mulisch, where science, religion and philosophy meet in a 900-page book full of autobiographical details, among which the persecution of Jews in WW2 and the roaring sixties. The story in a nutshell: Science and technology have on earth substituted the Ten Commandments of Moses, so a plan is conceived by God and his angels to bring the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments back from earth to heaven, as the contract between mankind and God is abandoned. Angels are given this task by God, and a child is born on earth to accomplish heaven's plan. The child is the result of a love triangle between astronomer Max Delius (the writer Mulisch), politician Onno Quist and a cellist Ada Brons. (One example of the level of detail in the book: A remarkable congruency is that Max's father, who betrayed his Jewish wife in WW2, has three important locations where his life played out and Auschwitz is the center of again a triangle) As the book states that coincidence does not exist and everything has a reason, all events happening are arranged by angels in heaven including the conception of the child, although Max Delius is on the brink of scientifically discovering heaven.

In the script they made a good effort to condense the book to its bare essentials by selecting the most relevant parts for the movie. But there are (also in the book) irrelevant loose elements that seem redundant and distract from the core message: Vietnam demonstrations, the whole Cuba part, some characters and relations add little. And there are things from the book they could have used like all mothers having the same face after the tablets are placed. Stephen Fry's often failed attempts to be funny are out of place although the book contains some humor: The weapon course in Cuba and Onno's walking stick interpreted as a miracle when seen as Moses' stick. The ending is better in the book than in the movie, where it is somewhat banal.

The pacing is unnecessarily slow despite the enormous amount of events happening in both the movie and the book. The story is told in a very predictable and straightforward way; the director Jeroen Krabbé is just not up to this job and has little imagination and visual style. Take the many direct references to religion and heaven and even the way heaven is represented. Or the clumsy way the deaths are foreshadowed with a short flash. I guess Peter Greenaway (planning to do a movie on Rembrandt) would have been a better choice as director, but this had to make some money being a lavish production for Dutch standards.

The role of God and angels is comparable here to that of the writer of the book; in the movie to the role of the director (and even actor Krabbé as angel). Because the best movies are usually about other movies, the book and script lacks writers, photographers, painters or publishers to lift this to a meta-level. Here we have the relative mundane politicians and scientists.

As science is about everything that can be potentially explained, religion is about everything that can not be explained rationally. The book and movie's statement that physics may one day take over religion, or make religion redundant, is fairly accurate as metaphysics is coming increasingly closer to a theory of everything. But as our knowledge increases, a warning is issued that it will not necessarily lead to a greater happiness or higher morality. The book and movie mixes small, uninteresting stories with larger-than-life stories in a strange and awkward way. It also messes things up inconsistently (e.g. in the book there is an image of concentration camps in space). Some of the book and movie consists of contrived, pseudo-intellectual nonsense, being deliberately pretentious lacking any mastery of the art form at hand (be it writing or film-making).


27 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 36 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed