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Heaven - Cate Blanchett, Giovanni Ribisi, Tom Tykwer

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

What would you risk for love?

In Turin, four innocent people are victims of a bomb attack. An English teacher named Philippa (Cate Blanchett) is taken into custody - she does not resist her arrest. Philippa is, nevertheless, utterly destroyed by what has occurred, because the bomb was intended for someone else altogether, namely a drug dealer responsible for the death of her husband as well as the deaths of many of her students. However, for reasons not immediately apparent, the police insist that Philippa's motives for the attack were entirely political.

Filippo (Giovanni Ribisi), a young police officer who translates Philippa's statement into Italian while she is being questioned, is the only one who believes this Englishwoman's story. Filippo is, moreover, convinced that he and Philippa were made for each other.

First of a trilogy that the late Polish director, Krysztof Kieslowski had planned as his next series of projects - Heaven, Hell and Purgatory.

Persons of interest

  • Cate Blanchett .... Philippa
  • Giovanni Ribisi .... Filippo
  • Riotta Vincent .... Cassande
  • Remo Girone .... Filippo's Father
  • Stefano Santospago .... Mr Vendice
  • Alessandro Sperduti .... Ariel
  • Krysztof Kieslowski .... Screenwriter
  • Krysztof Piesiewicz .... Screenwriter
  • Tom Tykwer .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Heaven. The Ascension. A little bit contrived but effective nonetheless.

Three bad points to keep in mind:

  1. Filmmakers who ask questions at the beginning of the film but don't answer them (until the end) when they would be answered as a matter of course should be shot. "How high can this helicopter fly?" requires an answer in metres no matter how allegorical the actual answer turns out to be.
  2. Cleaning ladies don't work during the day, they work at night. It's easier and cheaper that way: easier because there are no occupants to slow things down and you can make as much noise as you want, cheaper because you can hire slave labour like illegal immigrants, the illiterate and so on. Cleaners only empty rubbish bins during the afternoon if they're in a movie.
  3. The police are stupid but they're not that stupid: helicopter pilots don't get out of their helicopter during an armed assault no matter how interesting it looks and special response officers don't look at a farmhouse to the exclusion of a nearby helicopter no matter how interesting it looks.
Three good points to keep in mind:
  1. Cate Blanchett has the best English and Italian accents I have heard in a long time: I doesn't know where they come from but they are definitely dialects. She also looks hot. Italian women have a sense of style that Australian women don't and Cate covers it in spades.
  2. Giovanni Ribisi looks Italian. I have always had a problem with Giovanni in Hollywood films because he just didn't look right; now I know why: Giovanni should look Italian not American. Giovanni also gives the best performance that I have seen him give.
  3. Some of the cinematography in Heaven is breathtaking, from the dusty afternoon streets of Turin to dawn breaking over the police station to the final - pun intended - heavenly scene. One of the best closing shots I have ever seen.
Heaven is a deliberately paced film that draws you along like a leaf swept up in the wake of a passing breeze. Sit back, relax and let it take you where you want to go: the ride is worth it.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound
  • Disc: Single side, dual layer
  • Languages: English
  • Picture: Widescreen (1.85:1)
  • Subtitles: English, English captions, English closed captions

Security censorship classification

MA 15+ (Medium level sex scene)

Surveillance time

96 minutes (1:36 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 12 September 2002
DVD rental: 21 May 2003
VHS rental: 21 May 2003
DVD retail: 21 April 2004

Cinema surveillance images

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