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Days of Heaven back to product details

Heaven and Earth Are Not Ruthful
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written by RJones3 October 7, 2007 - 6:13 PM PDT
1 out of 2 members found this review helpful
"...To them the Ten Thousand Things are but as straw dogs" (Lao Tse). There is no lesson to be drawn from this luxuriously beautiful film. There are images of nature at its wildest, but also of industry shaping the environment. None of the characters is perfect, but - as one of them comments - what will it matter when they are all gone? Which poses an interesting question: What does "heaven" in the title of this movie refer to? Some critics believe that this heaven is the deliverance from poverty that the duplicity of the supposed siblings, Abby and Bill (Brooke Adams and Richard Gere), earn for them and for Bill's kid sister, Linda (Linda Manz). All three are offered a life of leisure by their employer, a wealthy farmer (Sam Shepard), who marries Abby and believes that Bill and Linda are consequently his in-laws. If this is heaven, it is built on a shaky foundation. It is eventually destroyed by the jealousy of the farmer as he becomes aware of the real relationship between Bill and Abby and, perhaps as sympathetic magic, by a plague of locusts and ravaging fire. We might instead think of America in the years leading up to the Great War, which for all its hardship and injustice displays in retrospect a heavenly innocence and vitality.
What ever happened to Brooke Adams? I first noticed her in the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but here her unconventional beauty and sure talent are used to advantage. Complementing the visual splendor of the film is the original music of Ennio Morricone, but there is also a classical quotation. Checking the concluding credits, we find that it is from Saint-Saens' Carnival of the Animals, the movement entitled The Aquarium. A significant choice?

Malick: the Hemingway of cinema?
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written by lividsnails December 31, 2004 - 6:06 PM PST
2 out of 3 members found this review helpful
The most notable thing about this movie is how much this director expresses through nonverbal means. This is only the second movie by Malick I've seen so it may be a characteristic of his but it's very Hemingway-esque. Language stripped down to the bare bones. No excesses. Facial expressions, body language, even the environment itself (-certainly is a windy/turbulent place isn't it?) all these things communicate way more than words. You gotta have good actors to do that. People say a lot with their eyes in this movie. Or Malick will use camerawork to say something about them so you gotta have a good director too. The first closeup of the farmer for example is shot at an upwards angle with only the empty sky behind him. This certainly is a lonely and isolated but very powerful man who has control over a lot of people. That shot of him conveyed that perfectly. I don't think many directors would've done as well as Mr. Malick did, every shot a beautiful photograph, nothing getting in the way of the story, which is a good one too. It's not easy to blame anyone for what happens here. Everyone's just trying to survive. Even the rich farmer. What more can you ask of a movie? Well done!


Classic
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written by maritoni January 24, 2004 - 9:29 AM PST
0 out of 2 members found this review helpful
A gorgeous film. It's languid and rich. Not a lot of dialogue, with nice convincing performances by all, especially Richard Gere. An indie classic.

Also - a great soundtrack...
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written by Kenyon November 30, 2003 - 1:21 AM PST
0 out of 1 members found this review helpful
I bought a copy back then - and still remember it.

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(Average 7.70)
181 Votes
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