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Heaven (1998)

Cast: Martin Donovan, Martin Donovan, Danny Edwards, more...
Director: Scott Reynolds, Scott Reynolds
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Studio: Miramax
Genre: Foreign, Neo Noir, Australia & New Zealand
Running Time: 103 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English
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Scott Reynolds directed this New Zealand thriller about a transsexual stripper. Architect Robert Marling (Martin Donovan) has mounting problems that include drinking, gambling, and alimony payments to his ex, Jennifer (Joanna Going), who's attempting to gain custody of their son. Redesigning a strip club for his psycho friend Stanner (Richard Schiff), Marling meets transsexual dancer Heaven (Danny Edwards), who has precognitive visions. Heaven's therapist, Dr. Melrose (Patrick Malahide), employs his patient's predictions to boost his own bank account. With all professional ethics evaporating, the evil Melrose sleeps with Jennifer while counseling Marling. Hallucinatory visions prompt Heaven to warn Marling of even more hellish events awaiting in his future. Shown at the 1998 Montreal World Film Festival and the 1998 Toronto Film Festival. ~ Bhob Stewart, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Well acted but gratuitously violent by johnnyclock December 16, 2004 - 6:18 PM PST
2 out of 3 members found this review helpful
On the plus side, the acting wasn't bad; and there were some interesting things done with the chronology -- due to the pre-cog on board, I guess.

One the other hand, the picture is quite violent, in a way that seemed unjustified.
Then again, most of the action of the film has no justification: characters just are violent, or very sweet. There are evil people, and good ones; and no explanation is offered for any underlying motives.
But the violence is realistic, not like the Hong Kong shoot-em-ups where the violence is forgiven because it's just plain so much fun. Here the violence is not fun nor is meant to be. But it seems gratuitous, not justified by anything we know about the characters.
The writing, in terms of the characters, is weak.
Although the chronological juxtapositions are interesting and cinematic, the plot is weak. In fact, the plot constantly depends on the pre-cognitive visions of one of the characters, so that she functions as a deus ex machina to help cause any needed scene.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.27)
11 Votes
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Movies that I've seen that have a twist. T-ratings are my ratings of the twist, *not the movie* (1-eh, 5-amazing!)

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