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Five Minutes of Heaven (2009)

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The story of former UVF member Alistair Little. Twenty-five years after Little killed Joe Griffen's brother, the media arrange an auspicious meeting between the two.

Writer:

(screenplay)
8 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Young Alistair - 1975 (as Mark Davison)
... Andy - 1975
... Alistair's Mum - 1975
Mathew McElhinney ... Stuart - 1975
... Dave - 1975
... Alistair's Dad - 1975
Kevin O'Neill ... Young Joe - 1975
... Jim - 1975
Paula McFetridge ... Joe's Mum - 1975
Gerry Doherty ... Joe's Dad - 1975
Luke O'Reilly ... Brother Dan - 1975
Luke McEvoy ... Brother John - 1975
Aoibheann Biddle ... Sister 1 - 1975
Ruth Matthewson ... Sister 2 - 1975
... Susan - 1975
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Storyline

In February, 1975, in Northern Ireland, seventeen year-old UVF member Alistair Little kills the catholic Jimmy Griffin in his house in Lurgan in front of his younger brother Joe Griffin. Alistair is arrested and imprisoned for twelve years while Joe is blamed by his mother for not saving his brother. Thirty-three years later, a TV promotes the meeting of Alistair and Joe in a house in River Finn, expecting the truth and the reconciliation of the murderer and the victim who actually seeks five minutes of heaven. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

To face the future, they must face the past.

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

27 February 2009 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

Cinco minutos de gloria  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,364, 21 August 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$13,217, 30 August 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The little boy he delivers the note from Liam Neeson's character was named "Liam." See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Alistair (as a teenager) is rummaging through the box under his bed, he extracts a knitted stuffed animal and places it beside the box with the head facing away from him. When he pulls out the gun, the stuffed animal is now lying with its head closest to him. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Young Alistair - 1975: [narrating] For me to talk about the man I have become, you need to know about the man I was. I was 14 when I joined the Tartan gangs, and I was 15 when I joined the UVF, the Ulster Volunteer Force. At that time, don't forget, there were riots on the streets every week; petrol bombs everyday, and that was just in our town. When you got home and switched on the TV, you could see what was happening in every other town as well, and it was like we were under siege. Fathers and brothers ...
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Connections

Featured in Maltin on Movies: Man on a Ledge (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Dynamite
Performed by Mud
Composed by Mike Chapman (as Chapman) and Nicky Chinn (as Chinn)
Courtesy of EMI Records Limited
Published by Universal Music Publishing MGB
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Truth and Reconciliation
17 January 2010 | by See all my reviews

When friend Vika (Anamaria Marinca) asks Joe Griffen (James Nesbitt), the brother of a man killed in 1975 by one Alistair Little (Liam Neeson), if killing Alistair would not be good for him, Joe replies ' Not good for me? My five minutes of heaven!' And so runs the razor sharp dialog and acting and power of this little film from the UK that relates the story of a 1975 event in Northern Ireland when Catholics and Protestants were at war and the young Protestant Alistair Little (Mark David), as a UVF member (Ulster Volunteer Force), gathers his friends and 'kills a Catholic' - but the murder happens in front of the victim's 11-year-old brother Joe Griffen. Flash forward to 2008 when Alistair Little (now Liam Neeson) has served his prison term and is set up by the media to relate the story of the incident and supposedly meet and shake hands on camera with the now mature Joe Griffen. It is a film about youthful involvement in terrorism and the sequelae that haunts or obsesses the victim's family and the perpetrator. The confrontation between Alistair and Joe is a devastating one.

Guy Hibbert wrote this excruciatingly visceral screenplay and Oliver Hirschbiegel directs a first rate cast. Though Liam Neeson is billed as the star, the film belongs to the powerful acting by James Nesbitt as the vengeful Joe Griffen. The cinematography is dark and dank like the atmosphere in both the warring fog of 1975 and the attempt at reconciliation in 2008. There are subtle pieces of thoughtful enhancement, such as the use of the Mozart 'Requiem' in the near hidden score. In all, this is a moving film about truth and reconciliation that deserves the attention of us all, especially in this time of random acts of terrorism and their possible imprint on our minds and on society.

Grady Harp


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