Days of Heaven

Days of Heaven ★★★★½

I don't have a lot to say about this one other than that, yes, everyone is right, this is a great movie. Its meandering structure is brilliant, time slipping away before us in the most nonchalant way possible, with only the thinnest strand of plot to carry us along. Not that the plot is bad, it's actually very good, but it's not where the greatest pleasures of Days of Heaven lie. No, they lie in just soaking everything in. The atmosphere, the mind boggling beauty of the world, the little subtleties of everyday life. And if that sounds boring, trust me, it kind of did to me too when I first heard about the film. But actually watching it, it's anything but. The movie isn't like, riveting or anything, but it doesn't need to be. It's just about taking in the feeling of it. The movie doesn't want you to think, it just wants you to feel. And not even feel anything in particular, just to absorb the world of film.

I know I keep going back to phrases like that, absorb and take in, etc. But that's because that really is how the film feels. It's such a simple movie in a lot of ways, and it's kind of about simple things, in fact, it's not even about anything particularly concrete. But what it is an opportunity to connect with a world, to be completely surrounded by it, and to feel a kind of peace, if only for a short while. It's doing something that only cinema can do, which is to put you in a place and actually feel its tactile presence. And that, more than the insanely beautiful cinematography, more than the brilliant editing, more than all the triumphs of cinematic technique that everyone loves to go on when they talk about this movie, that overwhelming feeling of immersion that is created by all that mastery, is what makes it a great film.

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