Bad Boys for Life
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Days Of Heaven Pros: Great Acting Strong Directing Terrific Screenplay Outstanding Cinematography Magnificent Editing Amazing Sound Design Beautiful Musical Score Good Storyline Fantastic Set and Costume Design Brilliant Pacing Portrays its themes in a satisfying manner Cons: None Overall Grade: A+ (10/10)
It is an absolutely beauty to watch. The story sadly comes to a secondary importance
The strikingly beautiful cinematography of this period movie is almost a character of its own as it underscores its achingly romantic story.
Not my cup of tea. I couldn't understand why the pretense of her being his sister.
Days of Heaven Review
Never have I cared more in my life about the fate of a field of wheat than I did in Days of Heaven (1978), but it's not just the agricultural landscape that we're invested in during this film as we have four deliberately sketched characters each with their own passions, motivations, flaws and fears in this remarkably short American epic.
The film concerns Abby and Bill, two young lovers/con-artists who tell employers that they are siblings, "Because it's easier that way", and Bill's younger sister Linda who travels with them on their journeys around the United States usually caused by Bill's temper getting the best of him. This time he has severely injured or killed his employer at a steel mill and he and the two women in his life have to escape from Chicago before the police find him. They end up on a farm owned by a mysterious and ethereal but lonely farmer who has an intense attraction to Abby. When Bill sees a way to manipulate this it spells trouble for all involved.
It is a tribute to the incomparable Terrence Malick that he manages to cram this much emotion and meaning into just 94 minutes with some of the most beautiful cinematography ever seen on film and the flowing, poetic passages that Malick would become known for springing from the lips of Linda Manz. The style that Malick would become associated with over his next 6 films, elements of which were developed in Badlands, are fully solidified here with natural light drenching every frame, women in flowing dresses frolicking in fields, poetic voiceovers, operatic music that swells dramatically at moments of grief and a lack of dialogue all present. What makes these elements all work so well when compared to Song to Song or To the Wonder is that the film's short running time allows you to marvel at the beauty and visual poetry that Malick creates without becoming bored with the slight story or confused by the lack of dialogue, Days of Heaven never outstays it welcome and that makes it near perfect.
The performances although largely non-verbal are also terrific with Richard Gere's fractious, manipulative performance as Bill shows just how interesting he can be as a performer when not saddled with the task of being a stolid, flawless, leading man. Here he plays a man who is clearly flawed and yet Gere has a sensitivity that allows us to care about this anti-hero. Sam Shepard is equally wonderful but entirely different as Gere's romantic rival, simply â~The Farmer', he has an innocent, almost angelic quality that makes us even more saddened when he faces an enemy that cannot be defeated. Linda Manz gives a remarkable performance as a child actor making Linda seem both without the annoying precociousness that child actors often employ and yet still self-aware and understanding of her situation, making her character uniquely able to serve as a mouthpiece for Malick's idealistic, almost childlike views. Brooke Adams is successful in playing a conflicted object of desire and her dark eyes and pinched face do everything they can to convey to us the depths of her torment as he struggles with her love for two very different men. Without performances with this level of depth this story could easily slide into being just another clichÃ (C)d love triangle but it manages to avoid this by crafting characters whose anxieties feel real and relatable no matter how outlandish the story on paper may seem.
The portrait of this period of American history that Linda Manz clearly sketches in her monologues discuss the unique problems that these people faced and at the same time the idyllic, simple lives they lived. This contrast does not feel imbalanced and it does not feel like Linda lurches between the positive and negative view of her life on the wheat field, it simply feels like a young girl's insightful view of the world she lives one, one that perfectly accompanies the overall tone of the film.
I would definitely recommend this film to all audiences because it is beautiful, insightful, sensitive, features great performances and is one of 4 masterpieces that Terrence Malick has made and is in my opinion his best film. I engaged with it even more than I did with The New World (2005), therefore I would call it Malick's best film.
Days of Heaven: Its not Malicks best film, however the continued visual poetry, infectious symbolism, gorgeous cinematography and slick writing help transends Days Of Heaven above many other love triangle films.
"Sometimes I'd feel very old, like my whole life is over, like I'm not around no more".
'Days of Heaven' is a mesmerizing film that captures the beauty and calm activities in life, while having this unexplained sadness underneath. At the end, you learn that memories, good or bad, will occasionally haunt your thoughts and emotional state - since the film is about someone reflecting on their memory.
My relationship with Terrence Malick can be complicated, but when he scores, it's remarkable.
One of the highest forms of art.
The best, GREATEST romance movie ever made!
My issue with Malik films is I simply don't like his characters. This film seems way overrated to me... the characters are not sympathetic and the images rather mundane. The ending was the best part of the film and the good hair on Gere and Shepherd. Gonna say avoid this one.
Days of Heaven has a fairly simple love triangle at its core, and the anachronistic presence of Richard Gere, but the breathtaking canvas, groundbreaking editing, lyrical storytelling, and some of the best cinematography ever captured on film elevate it to something very special.