Heaven (2002)

Heaven (2002)



Critic Consensus: The story is the weakest link in this gorgeous and well-acted film.

Heaven Photos

Movie Info

German filmmaker Tom Tykwer helmed this feature, which was adapted from a screenplay co-authored by the late Krzysztof Kieslowski. Philippa (Cate Blanchett) is a British schoolteacher living in Italy, whose husband fell victim to a drug overdose, as have several of her students. Marco Vendice (Stefano Santospago) is a powerful local drug dealer who sold the dope which killed Philippa's husband, as well as a number of neighborhood teens. Disgusted with the inability of the police to bring Vendice to justice, Philippa takes the law into her own hands, planting a bomb which is intended to kill the dealer. However, Philippa's plan goes awry, and instead the bomb kills four innocent bystanders. Philippa is arrested and brought before the police for questioning, not knowing that the interrogating officer in charge of the case, Pini (Mattia Sbragia), is one of Vendice's secret business associates. More comfortable with English than Italian, Philippa requests a translator, and multilingual officer Filippo (Giovanni Ribisi) is brought in to serve as interpreter. Filippo finds himself falling in love with Philippa, and with his help she's able to escape and go into hiding; however, despite her deep regrets about the loss of four lives in the bombing, she is still bound and determined to see Vendice dead.
R (for a scene of sexuality)
Action & Adventure , Art House & International , Drama , Mystery & Suspense , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
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Cate Blanchett
as Philippa
Remo Girone
as Filippo's Father
Mattia Sbragia
as Major Pini
Matthis Sbargia
as Major Pini
Alberto Di Stasio
as Public Prosecutor
Gianfranco Barra
as Lieutenant
Vincent Riotto
as Chief Guard
Vincent Riotta
as Caretaker
Alessandro Sperduti
as Ariel Fabrizi Jr.
Mauro Marino
as Doctor
Stefania Orsola Garello
as Vendice's Secretary
Fausto Lombardi
as High Rise Father
Giorgia Coppa
as Older Daughter
Julienne Liberto
as Younger Daughter
Matilde De Sanctis
as Cleaning Woman
Robert D'Alessandro
as Milkvan Driver
Masha Sirago
as Woman in Milkvan
Sergio Sivori
as Helicopter Pilot
Shaila Rubin
as Pharmacist
Luciano Bartoli
as Soundproof Room Technician
Marco Merlini
as Soundproof Room Technician
Natalia Magni
as Cleaning Woman
Teresa Piergentili
as Cleaning Woman
Massimiliano Giusti
as Policeman Chasing Ariel
Federico Torre
as Policeman
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Critic Reviews for Heaven

All Critics (87) | Top Critics (29)

If Heaven doesn't quite achieve the transcendent power that Kieslowski might have attained, it comes close.

November 15, 2002
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Its compelling mix of trial movie, escape movie and unexpected fable ensures the film never feels draggy.

November 4, 2002
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

Heaven doesn't exactly reign on high, but it does make for a soul-searching experience.

November 2, 2002
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

There's much to admire about Twyker's movie, even if it runs out of gas once it hits the road.

October 26, 2002
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic

Seems to have less to do with lived moral dilemmas than with the smug piety of its makers.

Full Review… | October 25, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic

A daunting task -- to realize the work of a dead master -- well done.

October 24, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Heaven


Philippa: I don't want to escape punishment. I've killed four innocent people and I want to answer for that, but before I do, I want to kill him. "What Would You Risk For Love?" Heaven is a tough film to figure out for me. It's unique for sure, with major events happening at times you wouldn't expect them to. I never was able to fall in love with it, although I did thoroughly enjoy the whole film. It's wonderfully shot, the score is fantastic, and Cate Blanchett and Giovanni Ribisi are bother terrific.  A woman, Philippa, is a teacher living in Italy who recently lost her husband to a drug overdose. She gets fed up with law enforcement's lack of care her information about the drug dealer whose pushing large amount of drugs. So she decides to kill him. She tries to kill him with a bomb, but things don't go as planned and four innocent people die, while the drug kingpin still lives. To complicate things more, she is detained for the bombing.  This isn't a movie that really appeals to me too much, but I was able to find  quite a bit I liked and was able to take away from the film. I don't believe this to be a masterpiece or anything like that, but it is worth a viewing. If only for Care Blanchett, it deserves a look. 

Melvin White
Melvin White

Super Reviewer


Philippa is in a hopeless situation. The drug dealers who have supplied drugs to her husband and students are supported by the Italian police who are questioning her. All seems lost until an young innocent translator helps her accomplish her goal.

Red Lats
Red Lats

Super Reviewer

Cast: Cate Blanchett, Giovanni Ribisi, Remo Girone, Stefania Rocca, Alessandro Sperduti, Mattia Sbragia, Stefano Santospago, Alberto Di Stasio, Giovanni Vettorazzo, Gianfranco Barra, Mauro Marino Director: Tom Tykwer Summary: Deeply disappointed by law enforcement's lax investigation following her husband's drug-related death, Philippa Paccard (Cate Blanchett) takes the law into her own hands and ends up imprisoned in this moody romantic drama from director Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run). Filippo (Giovanni Ribisi), a police officer involved with Philippa's questioning, falls in love with her and helps her escape, as they flee together to the Tuscan countryside. My Thoughts: "The film has a beautiful back drop. The concept was interesting but failed to succeed in delivering a great thriller. Since there is little character development, you don't develop enough emotions for these character's to really care what happens. I wasn't convinced of the romance between Philppa and Flippo. I didn't see the right kind of chemistry brewing for them to make me believe they could be in love. When Flippo's father asks Philippa if she loves his son, I was so certain she would say no. But besides the lack of chemistry, there was a lack of action. I get the quiet thriller aspect of it, but there could have been a little bit more going on to keep the interest. It's a slow burning, but visually beautiful thriller that some will have the patience for where other's will try to stay awake to finish it. But as usual, Cate and Giovanni give stellar performances."


Super Reviewer

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