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Heaven


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Product Details

  • Actors: Cate Blanchett, Giovanni Ribisi, Remo Girone, Stefania Rocca, Alessandro Sperduti
  • Directors: Tom Tykwer
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Miramax
  • DVD Release Date: June 17, 2003
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JKN2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,715 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Heaven" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Featurette "The Story of Heaven"
  • Space Cam Fly-By

Editorial Reviews

The star power of Cate Blanchett (THE SHIPPING NEWS, THE LORD OF THE RINGS) and Giovanni Ribisi (GONE IN 60 SECONDS, BOILER ROOM) propels this luminous and intensely haunting motion picture from the acclaimed director of RUN LOLA RUN and WINTER SLEEPERS. Philippa (Blanchett), a British teacher living in Turin, Italy, has watched helplessly as her husband and friends have fallen victim to drug overdoses. To compound her desperation, the police -- who are complicit in the actions of Turin's biggest drug dealer -- have completely ignored Philippa's repeated offers of information. So, with the unexpected help of a sympathetic police officer (Ribisi), Philippa feels she has nothing to lose by taking divine justice into her own hands. A probing exploration of the modern world and its moral choices -- you'll be mesmerized by Philippa's transformation from grieving widow to wanted fugitive on a journey through retribution and redemption, innocence, and crime!

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

97 of 108 people found the following review helpful By Dane D'Alessandro on October 22, 2002
Verified Purchase
What is heaven? More importantly, how do we, as imperfect people, transcend our daily limitations and transgressions to reach heaven - be it here on Earth or elsewhere? The master Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski, who wrote the screenplay for "Heaven" shortly before his death in 1996, uses the film's story and dialogue as a final opportunity to expand the core humanist philosophy that underlies nearly all of his films ("Decalogue", "Trois Couleurs", "Double Life of Veronique".)
Philippa, played by Cate Blanchett, is a widowed English teacher living in Turin. Disillusioned from the mounting death toll that drug abuse has claimed on several of her young students and her recently deceased husband, Phillippa executes a desperate plan to kill Turin's drug kingpin, Vendice, by deposting a bomb in his office trashbin. When the bomb is unknowingly intercepted by a cleaning woman on her daily rounds and taken to an elevator transporting a father and his two daughters, Philippa's plan goes horribly wrong. She has unwittingly killed 4 innocent people. Philippa is arrested and interrogated by the Turin police, who accuse her of politically motivated terrorism as a way of masking their professional involvement with Vendice, the kingpin. Philippa readily acknowledges her guilt, only to have a complete breakdown upon learning of the innocent bystanders who lost their lives in her vengeful plot. Her interpreter during the interrogation, handsome Filippo (Giovanni Ribisi), is moved by Philippa's story, quickly falls in love with her, and ultimately hatches a plan to help her escape from the carabinieri, who see her as a problem to be "eliminated", because of her knowledge of Vendice's operations. Philippa herself is less concerned with escape than with killing Vendice, once and for all.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 18, 2002
This is one of the most beautiful films I have seen in a long time. The director knows how to create magic moments, and the slow tempo of the film allows the viewer to reflect upon not only the intrigue, but also the visual pictures. If you like films where something happens all the time, this is not a film for you. Instead, the film is almost floating forward in a way that makes you think about not so much what happens, but the deeper issues that are embedded in the film.
Human beings are not good or bad, and there is no such thing as a black and white world. Instead, the nuances matter. Being human is to make mistakes, sometimes. The director does not spell out any answers to the questions that the film poses, rather, provides one perspective on how they could be viewed, but is not trying to convince the viewer that this is THE truth.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Gavin B. on February 15, 2002
In his first English language film, "Heaven", German director Tom Tykwer abandons his earlier displays visual pyrotechnics, fast cut editing, and adrenaline laced pacing, to present us with heart felt meditation on the nature of unconditional love. This may disappoint some fans of his brilliant trilogy of films ("Night Sleepers", "Run Lola Run" and "Princess and the Warrior") which explored the themes of syncronicity, metaphysics and causality. It is the blissful performance of the cameleon-like actress Cate Blanchett that allows Tykwer the space to breathe and expand his artistic vision.
"Heaven" begins as a thriller involving a woman obsessed with avenging the death of her husband, but quickly shifts gears and becomes an exploration of love between doomed outsiders, another favorite Tykwer theme. Tykwer shot the film in Italy and it is technically a bi-lingual film, because much of the dialogue is in Italian. Giovanni Ribisi, whose career has alternated between lackluster and compelling acting efforts, presents a starkly well crafted perfomance of an Italian policeman who becomes obsessed with Cate Blanchett's school teacher character. The langorous pacing of "Heaven" allows us linger on the voluptuous camera work of Frank Griebe, Tykwer's brilliant cinematographer. Griebe's sensual, impressionistic lens has become the trademark of a Tykwer film.
In his last film, "The Princess and the Warrior", Tywker gave ample notice that he was maturing as a director, and was becoming more concerned with character development over technical gimmickery. Many of Tykwer's younger devotees may point out logical flaws in the script or find the film's more tender moments absurd. "Heaven" is about the frailty of the human psyche and, for Tykwer, it is the triumph of substance over style.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 9, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
What is true love? What would we do to keep it, once we find it? Is this what it is like to find a true soulmate? What is wrong and right if we seek redemption, but are dragged down by a lust for justice? The quietly beautiful "Heaven" will leave those thoughts in your head as you watch it.
In Italy, young schoolteacher Phillipa Paccard (Cate Blanchett) sneaks into drug kingpin Vendice's office and plants a bomb in his trash, little knowing that the trash is about to be collected by the cleaning lady. The resulting explosion kills the lady, a father and his two children. When Phillipa is arrested and told this, she is aghast. She only intended to kill the kingpin, because his distribution of drugs has been killing her pupils, and killed her husband. She has asked the cabinieri to help, but no one has answered. So she took justice into her own hands.
A young Italian cabinieri, Filippo (Giovanni Ribisi), serves as a translator for Phillipa, and he is struck by her self-recrimination and sorrow. When her evidence is destroyed by a spy in the police, Philipo creates an elaborate escape plan, then helps her kill Vendice. From there, they escape into Tuscany, where their bond grows deeper. The soul mates live in what seems like a paradise, shaving their heads and wearing identical clothes. But Tuscany is not heaven, and they are still not safe.
Tom Tykwer gave the film its focus (lovers in jeopardy) and unearthly direction, but Krzysztof Kieslowski provided the heart and soul of it. In that sense, it is wholly his movie. Themes of guilt and redemption, love and salvation, punishment and forgiveness run deep in "Heaven.
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