Days of Heaven

Days of Heaven ★★★½

Original Title: Days of Heaven
Year of Release: 1978
Genres: Historical Drama; Romance
Director: Terrence Malick
Writer: Terrence Malick
Main Cast: Richard Gere, Brooke Adams, Linda Manz, Sam Shepard, Robert J. Wilke

While light on narrative, Days of Heaven makes up for that with beautiful cinematography and a richly poetic atmosphere. It is very much an art house film, one that, without Morricone's wonderful score and Almendros' cinematography, wouldn't have worked as well. It has really good acting, even if I do feel that Gere's sister is an underused character, whose sole existence seems to be relegated as the naive narrator (similar to Spacek's role in Badlands, although there she was more fleshed out).

There are some standout sequences, beautiful moving paintings of people working in the fields, terrifying close-ups of locusts, and a nigh-apocalyptic sequence that is among my favorites I've seen. However, it is so light on plot, that I really didn't connect with the characters or the "narrative". It was a pleasant watch, more for the eyes and ears than for the mind. I could feel that Malick shot this overtime, not really knowing what to do with his plot and building it up as he went along. Impressive for sure, but Badlands felt more complete and interesting to me.

Story: 6
Directing: 8
Cinematography: 9.5
Acting: 8
Sound: 8.5
Visual Effects: 9


Violence & Gore: 4
Sex & Nudity: 2
Drugs & Profanity: 1
Intensity & Horror: 3

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