Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Heaven: film review

Cate Blanchett was awesome in this film, playing off of Giovanni Ribisi, who ain't chopped liver. You may remember him as the medic in Saving Private Ryan, or Charlotte's ignorant husband, John, in Lost in Translation.

Blanchett is one of those rare actors that become their character and you forget they're acting, which has to be the ultimate success for a actor. I can barely think of any others that pull this off; Nicole Kidman, Gary Oldman. Yes, Ribisi also. There are others. For Gary Oldman, at least, I think it may have worked against him if you consider fame a measure of success. He's so good you seldom recognize him as Gary Oldman. He's always his character. Come to think of it, considering Ribisi in his roles he's in the same boat.

Heaven was a great film. It's an incredible story and goes uphill from there. It's one of films you'll only find on late night cable or an indie channel. Incredibly underrated. It's a very touching and powerful story. It's timely in dealing with the official law enforcement paranoia over terrorism and the propensity to call someone a terrorist as a means to quickly legitimate brutal obtuse disregard for the human soul.

The film is a superb story by Krzysztof Kieslowski and Krzysztof Piesiewicz; directed by Tom Tykwer. Heaven was the first of a trilogy, Heaven, Hell and Purgatory. But, Kieslowski unfortunately died before completing the last of them. Hell or L'Enfer as it's titled, is highly rated and apparently as touching a story as Heaven.

Heaven takes place in Italy but quickly reverts to English dialog making it an interestingly international piece.

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