I can definitely see the ideas of Kieslowski in the story and in many of the shots. But I can also feel his absence. In some ways this is a fitting tribute to him. Films don't have to be perfect to be worth watching; they just need to tell us a story that holds a mirror in which we see our fears, our joys, our angels, and our demons. Blanchett and Ribisi shine. And kudos to Frank Griebe's cinematography. THAT TREE.
This film's atmosphere is cool and always smart. The film does not conform to the preconceived notions that I foolishly ascribed to it. Each performer adds something fresh and lively. Tykwer takes Kieslowski's material and makes it totally his own. He still pays due to the director and makes this a unique and lovely experience to watch from the first to last minute.
Can't believe I missed it 14 years ago... Can't believe that it has been in hiding that long either. It's as good as Girl with the Tatoo... No one remade this that I know of. But, it's a grand gesture film that is beautiful enough to believe in to go beyond it's own premise and watch predestined love rescue a soul and slip by the corruption of authority and to lift off towards an Arvo Part tranquility soundscape.
Crazy Kieslowski and Piesiewicz: just look up Philippians (Phillipa and Filippo) in Wikipedia, launch out from there, and start to groove on their heresies! Still kicking Christian ass and taking names since The Dekalog. But deeply Christian in the best sense. Maybe. I say maybe because it is all way over my head.
"For Kieslowski, the accretion of circumstance and coincidence that governs our lives is something to be accepted and embraced: freedom comes from learning to live with your destiny. For Tykwer, fate...is something to be fought against and transcended. Watching Heaven, one can sometimes sense Kieslowski's worldview hovering like a skeleton behind the flesh of Tykwer's film." - BFI Sight & Sound
If Kieslowski had directed it, it would have been darker, but not necessarily better. I thought Ribisi was fantastic as a man in love in the purest sense of the word. Even when they make love, it's pure. They also carry with them an absolute certainty about what they're doing. They're on a mission from God.