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Nearest To Heaven

3.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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(Feb 15, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Starring Catherine Deneuve, William Hurt. From - "Fanette (Deneuve) is writing a book on the abstract painter Francois Arnal. One day, when she learns that the man she considered her one great love, Phillippe, is in town, she can't stop thinking about him, even believing she has spotted him at a screnning of her favorite film, An Affair to Remember........she has to go to NY to photograph some of Arnai's paintings....before leaving she gets a note from Philippe, asking her to meet him in 3 days at the top of the Empire State Building........."

Still magnificent as she approaches 60, Catherine Deneuve demonstrates in Nearest to Heaven that her talent and beauty are undiminished. A moody art historian named Fanette (Deneuve, 8 Women, Belle de Jour) holds a torch for a lover from her youth. When she hears that he was at a class reunion, she has visions of him in a grey suit and imagines she's just missed seeing him at a movie theater or on the street. Out of nowhere he leave a note on her door, asking her to meet him atop the Empire State Building, in homage to An Affair to Remember, their favorite movie. When Fanette travels to New York, she meets a photographer (William Hurt, The Accidental Tourist) who woos her aggressively--but Fanette resists, aching for her lost love. Nearest to Heaven is best described as a meditation on desire vs. reality, but much of the movie is as suspenseful as any psychological thriller. Deneuve vividly lays bare Fanette's layers of neurosis; this could be the adult version of her character from Roman Polanski's classic Repulsion--functional on the surface, but with madness roiling underneath. Partly in English, partly in French with English subtitles. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

  • Interview with Tonie Marshall
  • Trailer
  • Deleted scenes
  • Making-of featurette

Product Details

  • Actors: Catherine Deneuve, William Hurt, Bernard Le Coq, Hélène Fillières, Gilbert Melki
  • Directors: Tonie Marshall
  • Writers: Tonie Marshall, Anne-Louise Trividic
  • Producers: Alain Peyrollaz, Andrés Vicente Gómez, Callum Greene, Daniel Louis, Denise Robert
  • Format: Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Fox Lorber
  • DVD Release Date: February 15, 2005
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006TPDWK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,900 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Nearest To Heaven" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
NEAREST TO HEAVEN ('Au plus près du paradis') is in many ways a simple old-fashioned melodrama - but with a delectable twist. Writers Anne-Louise Trividic and Tonie Marshall (who also directs) have created a tale of lost first love that follows a woman through her life, and ultimately becomes an obsession.

Fanette (Catherine Deneuve, as luminously beautiful and sensuous as she approaches 60 as ever) is an art historian working on a book project for which she must fly to New York to obtain photographs of the subject artist's work. Fanette is successful but has a distance in her emotional makeup that surfaces when she hears from an old friend Bernard (Bernard Le Coq) that her first love Philippe is in town (Paris) for a class reunion. Fanette begins to imagine she sees Philippe in cafes, and in movie houses (especially in a theater where she repeatedly views her favorite film "An Affair to Remember"). Ready to leave for New York she finds a note from Philippe who asks her to meet him at an appointed hour at the Empire State Building (!).

In New York she meets Matt (William Hurt), the photographer assigned to Fanette's task. Matt is wise, attracted to Fanette, and though Fanette is attracted to Matt, she still obsesses about her upcoming reunion with Philippe. Of course, as in the movie, Fanette waits atop the Empire State Building until the appointed hour on the night she is to meet Philippe, and when he of course doesn't appear...well, see the film to appreciate the ending.

On the surface this film is a bit corny and contrived, but in the hands of actors like Deneuve and Hurt the psychological implications of the plot are more profound and even sincerely touching.
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Comment 16 of 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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I have genuine espect for the collective reviewers. But this time, I was misled and I write because I don't want you to be.

Catherine Deneuve is not 'approaching 60' in this movie; she is over 63. That's the least of what is wrong here as I would love, as one who is her age to see some realism about women in their sixties, born in the early 40's. 1943 to be precise.

This is one of the last three Deneuve movies, and I've seen them all, where she is what's wrong, rather than what is right with the film.

She is overweight yet always moves as if highly unconfortable about it. She had a horrid face lift, can't imagine why, and her lips curl into a snarl that is when you are allowed to see her face, a face I have always loved. In "Nearest to Heaven" she is most often filmed from behind or in a blurry light and I, her age, felt her immense discomfort throughout.

Even worse is the total absence of chemistry with William Hurt, none. And that's the core of the story, CHEMISTRY. Even worse than all the above is the way this story does not move, does not make any sense, and is the type of film suited to a 23 year old love lorn and miserable girl rather than a woman in her sixties without any, not one whit, of maturity. Deneuve plays a girl whose unattractive and boy crazy.

I have adored Catherine Deneuve's films from "Belle de Jour" all the way through "Indochine" and the wonderful if sad "Dancer in the Dark." I don't have any idea why she chose radical face lifts that completely ruins her looks, and even more: her expessions. But for sure, this make over has ruined her ability and agility with acting. Tragique mais vrai.

What I totally do not get are the below reviews. They misled me into buying this most uncomfortable film.
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I saw a clip of the "romantic scene" between Catherine Deneuve and William Hurt at the bar, and really thought the movie would be good. Unfortunately, I felt like it was chopped up a bit (unfortunate editing), and I don't think Ms. Deneuve's character was well portrayed... all that smoking and weird mouthing of her cigarettes just made her look old.
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I am Deneuve's fan and do not skip her movies. Have them all. This one is an elating journey for 40-50 y/o women to watch. The plot itself is simple, however, it worth to watch.
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