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3.8 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Diana (Glenn Close) is a legendary superstar who's attracted to Alec (Jesse Bradford, Swimfan), a struggling young actor who lives in the same building as her daughter Isabel (Elizabeth Banks, Spider-Man 2), a self-absorbed photographer who's about to marry Jonathan (James Marsden, The Notebook), atemperamental attorney who's trying to avoid Peter (John Light, TV's "Band of Brothers"), a Britishjournalist assigned to interview his famous lover's ex-flames. These five very different people meet, connect and resolve their relationships in this "wonderfully-acted, intelligently-written and directed drama. One of the best films of the season" (Jeffrey Lyons, NBC)!

Special Features

  • Commentary by Glenn Close and the director
  • Filmmaker's Diary
  • Director and cast interviews
  • Featurette: Production Design
  • Photo gallery

Product Details

  • Actors: Glenn Close, Elizabeth Banks, Jesse Bradford, James Marsden, Eric Bogosian
  • Directors: Chris Terrio
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 1, 2005
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000B5IOX4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,374 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Heights" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

In a long, hot summer of lackluster movies, HEIGHTS is a most pleasant surprise. Based on a one act play by the same name by Amy Fox, who wrote the screenplay for this Merchant Ivory production that is directed by Chis Terrio, the film stars Glenn Close as a middle-aged actress/drama teacher, Diana Lee, who is currently starring in a stage production as Lady Macbeth. The movie is all about the difficulty of relationships. Close's husband is having an affair with her younger understudy; her daughter Isabel (Elizabeth Banks) is engaged to Jonathan (James Marsden) who has some baggage that Isabel does not know about. He may not be gay but, as the T shirts say, his boyfriend Alec played by the winsome Jesse Bradford certainly is. This sophisticated plot brings these characters together in ways they don't expect. As Diana so accurately opines: it isn't six degrees of separation but more like two degrees. (Or at least two flights of stairs when she discovers that the young actor Alec lives just two floors up from her daughter and soon-to-be son-in-law in the same apartment building.)

Ms. Close, with shoulder-length black hair that makes her features very angular, emotes all over the place. There is a scene where she comforts her distraught daughter by reciting from memory the Edgar Alan Poe poem "Anabelle Lee," substituting "Isabel" throughout the poem. The scene is way over the top although it apparently works for these women since they are reduced to tears by Close's recitation. It is probably how a thespian of the likes of Diana Lee would handle such a situation.

The other actors give very fine peformances, particularly Jesse Bradford who is perfect as the young Alec.
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Format: DVD
Chris Terrio's Heights (adapted by Amy Fox from her stage play) tells an intriguing story of various people in Manhattan whose lives and relationships intersect in unexpected ways. The opening scene is a Julliard acting master class, with star actress Diana Lee (played by Glenn Close) interrupting two students needing improvement on their MacBeth scene, and giving an impassioned speech about how passion is missing from their performance, and from everybody's lives these days. "We put up bold fronts and a gracious face in response to seeing our husbands with other women, and then when no one is looking we cry into our soy latte," she bemoans. This set piece is of course the leitmotif for the film, as the teacher can act great Shakespeare but can't bring the advice to bear on her own life. We soon meet Diana's daughter, Isabel, a photographer, and her fiance Jonathan, a handsome Jewish professional, as well as Alec, an actor wanting to break out of the Fringe Festival, and Peter, the latest lover of the famous photographer Benjamin Stone, who has been given a tortuously cruel assignment by Vanity Fair. These characters are all going through the motions of their lives, strong gritty New Yorkers on the surface, but without passion, without really knowing themselves or those they love, and all with something eating them out from the inside. As their paths cross and their lives unravel all in one evening, it is like watching a windshield crack. One crack leads to the next, and the jagged patterns formed can fragment the light to a beautiful effect, but you can never look through the windshield the same way as before.

This film explores some of the same themes as Sideways. In Sideways, we had an actor and a poseur-writer representing the superficiality of Los Angeles culture.
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Comment 27 of 29 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Chris Terrio's "Heights" follows in the tradition of such films as "Crash", "Magnolia" and others where everyone's life is effected by unknown people.

Around this time of year I found I'm at odds with most of the public. They tend to prefer such fare as "Batman Begins" and "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" while I'm in an empty theatre watching films such as this.

Isabel (Elizabeth Banks) is engaged to Jonathan (James Marsden) and the two will be married in a month. Isabel's mother, the well-known stage and film actress Diana (Glenn Close) has some doubts about the marriage. Diana feels Isabel is not ready for the married life, but Isabel does not want to hear a lecture about marriage from her mother. Diana's husband is having an affair, the two have agreed to see other people. Diana puts up the front of being okay with the arrangment, but clearly is not.

Meanwhile Alec (Jesse Bradford) is a young aspiring actor who gets his big chance to audition for Diana in a play she is directing. Alec also happens to live in the same apartment as Isabel and Jonathan, but claims not to know them. But that doesn't stop Diana from flirting with Alec.

The audience can pretty much guess what the film's big secrets are, but to me that wasn't so important because I found that I enjoyed the acting so much. Plus the movie is not really about plot twist, it's about the relationships between these people. The movie is not trying to surprise and shock us. Had this been a thriller, that would make it disappointing.

The film also creates characters that just don't seem believeable, or at least I don't know people like them. But I don't think the film wanted to create "real" people. I think it wanted to create stereotypes.
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