28 October 2001 | reinout_vanschie
One of the best Dutch movies of recent times
I went to see Discovery of Heaven with a lot of anticipation. Having read the book it's based on by Harry Mulisch, and loving it, I really wanted this picture to succeed. But you've got to be honest and understand that a 900 page epic spanning 3 generations and so many different locations is impossible to translate to a movie no longer than about 135 min., right?.. Wrong!! I'm extremely pleased to say that Jeroen Krabbé has done the -almost- impossible and pulled it off! He translated the book into an amazing piece of cinema wich sets new standards for motion-picture in the Netherlands, and may well be one of the best foreign language films of this year.
Just like the book, the movie has so many layers on wich it works. You've got the wonderful, extremely well acted, roles of Onno Quist (Stephen Fry), Max Delius (Greg Wise) and Ada Brons (Flora montgomery). And although they all acted very well, it was Stephen Fry's role wich is most memorable. With extreme charisma and charm he brings the role of the exentric Onno to life in a magnificent way. Then there is the screenplay, wich so brilliantly succeeds in summarazing the book and making sure all the important elements of the book are in place. And better still, it adds to the book on numorous levels, giving extra emotion to key scenes and extra meaning to certain themes. The screenwriter Edwin de Vries had a difficult task but he succeeded, with help of Mulisch himself, in creating a captivating story wich never bores throughout.
I could go on much longer now, covering about any aspect of the picture (most of it with praise), but I won't. I just want to finish with a big thanks to Krabbé and the whole crew who worked on this picture. You've pulled it off brilliantly, and brought a bright shining light in the otherwise often relatively dull Dutch Cinema.
Final score, a solid 9 out of 10!