Heaven on Earth
Thank you for the music
Classic Elsternwick - Sunday 7 August 2016, 4:00pm
Running time: 135m
Classification: M (Mature themes, violence and coarse language)
Release date: 04/08/16
Rating: 7.5/10 (ME 3.5/5, DP 4/5)
Lena (Frida Hallagren) is struggling with feelings of isolation as a new single mother in a small town. When she's offered the role of musical director to bring more people into the church, her unorthodox approaches spark the attention of the church hierarchy. Challenged with bringing together an eclectic group of singers and musicians for a performance of Handel's Messiah, it will take a miracle or two (and lots of faith) to bring it all together.
The sequel to 2004's foreign language Oscar nominated film As it is in Heaven, Heaven on Earth reunites key members of the original film in an attempt to recreate the charm of the original... and it comes very close to succeeding. Once again set around music and the church, the battles with personal demons drive the plot. Familiar characters Stig (Niklas Falk), Arne (Lennart Jähkel) and Tore (André Sjöberg) return for the sequel, but it's Lena's struggles and determination that provides the heart and soul. There are some very moving moments here, particularly the finale when their 'Christ' appears symbolically and literally amongst them. Enjoyable. (ME)
Note: unfortunately there are some aggressive characters and some violence (particularly violence against women) in this film that added little to the story but made us feel very uncomfortable.