A Little Trip to Heaven

( 1 )

Overview

Three stories of human treachery are given an unexpected link in this dry comedy drama from Icelandic filmmaker Baltasar Kormákur. Holt (Forest Whitaker) is an insurance investigator who is sent to Minnesota to look into a bus accident; the bus seems to have had significantly more passengers after it crashed than it had when it left the station, and Holt, posing as a police detective, needs to know who is telling the truth and who is attempting to cash in on the tragedy. Later, Holt is back on the job, when a ...
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Overview

Three stories of human treachery are given an unexpected link in this dry comedy drama from Icelandic filmmaker Baltasar Kormákur. Holt (Forest Whitaker) is an insurance investigator who is sent to Minnesota to look into a bus accident; the bus seems to have had significantly more passengers after it crashed than it had when it left the station, and Holt, posing as a police detective, needs to know who is telling the truth and who is attempting to cash in on the tragedy. Later, Holt is back on the job, when a badly burned body is found in a wrecked car, and the ID on the corpse indicates the victim was a small-time con artist with a police record. The victim's sister, Isold (Julia Stiles), claims that her brother's accident happened after his gas tank was drained and he was struggling to make his way home on a stormy night, but Holt isn't buying it; and Isold's husband, Fred (Jeremy Renner), and son, Thor (Alfred Harmsworth), don't seem especially trustworthy. Finally, a man and a woman struggle to make their way to shore after their car sails off a cliff into a body of water. While they seem grateful to make it back to dry land, it seems the woman has reason to be unhappy with her mate when she viciously attacks him. Who are these people, and what is their story? A Little Trip to Heaven received its North American premier at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival. First Look Pictures' DVD release includes a making-of documentary, as well as deleted scenes and previews, plus a Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround audio track.
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Special Features

Closed captioning; Making of documentary; Deleted scenes; Spanish subtitles; English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround; Previews
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/13/2007
  • UPC: 687797117298
  • Original Release: 2005
  • Rating:

  • Source: Millennium
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:27:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 46,739

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Forest Whitaker Holt
Julia Stiles Isold
Jeremy Renner Fred
Peter Coyote Frank
Philip Jackson William
Anne Reid Martha
Phyllida Law Headmistress
Alfred Harmsworth Thor
Joanna Scanlan
Iddo Goldberg
Vladas Bagdonas
Matyelok Gibbs
Technical Credits
Baltasar Kormákur Director, Original Story, Producer, Screenwriter
Leifur Dagfinnsson Art Director
Ottar Gudnason Cinematographer
Jon Asgeir Johannesson Executive Producer
Agnes Johansen Co-producer
Karl Juliusson Production Designer
Virginia Katz Editor
Eggert Ketilsson Art Director
Kjartan Kjartansson Sound/Sound Designer
Mugison Score Composer
Lilja Palmadottir Executive Producer
Richard Pearson Editor
Liora Reich Casting
Joni Sighvatsson Producer
Helga I. Stefansdottir Costumes/Costume Designer
Edward Martin Weinman Screenwriter
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- A Little Trip to Heaven
1. Main Titles [8:56]
2. Count to Ten [7:21]
3. Window Watching [7:09]
4. Scorched Car [8:05]
5. Lodgings [7:31]
6. Scars of the Past [6:21]
7. Beach Grave [8:45]
8. Nocturnal Investigation [7:33]
9. Locked Out [6:28]
10. Insurance Policy [6:52]
11. Forged Marriage [8:21]
12. End Credits [6:23]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- A Little Trip to Heaven
   Play Movie
   Scene Selection
   Setup
      Audio
         English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
         English 2.0 Stereo
      Subtitles
         English Closed Captions
         Spanish
         None
   Special Features
      The Making of a Little Trip to Heaven
      Deleted Scenes
         Original Opening
         Extended Garage Scene
         Isolde & Thir Bedtime Story
         An Anxious Isolde Retrieves Thor From the Prairie
         Josie's Extended Dance/Seduction Scene
         Holt's Walk Through Fire to Fred's Grave
         Thor's Philosophical Musing During Holt's Heavenly Visitation
         Play All
      Previews
         A Little Trip to Heaven
         First Born
         Comeback Season
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Dark Story in a Dark Place Without the Benefit of a Director's Enlightment

    A LITTLE TRIP TO HEAVEN is a strange little Indie film by Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur, a young director with some very fine ideas but with a script (written both by the director and Edward Martin Weinman) 'that is so spongy that the impact of the film relies on the considerable qualities of the cinematic images. Filmed primarily in Iceland with some scenes in Hastings, Minnesota, the mood is dank and dark and cold - and so is the story. We first meet insurance investigator ('adjustor') Abe Holt as he listens to his boss Frank (Peter Coyote) explain to a new widow why she will not receive full death benefits because the insurance company took photos of her husband smoking, the apparent cause of his death. Abe just sits in the background but we know he is in tune with the fraudulent activity of the insurance company. Almost immediately he is assigned to a new case: an ex-con with a million dollar life insurance policy has apparently been found dead in a car crash burned beyond recognition. Abe drives to the tiny snowy desolate village where his questions of the townsfolk reveal that the victim was Kelvin Anderson, the brother of Isold (Julia Stiles) who is married to a low life type named Fred (Jeremy Renner), a man who we have seen in flashbacks as the one responsible for arranging the car crash and setting the car on fire. Abe sneaks around the town, spies on Isold, and becomes involved in the investigation in more ways than the honest one. It is the interplay of the three - Abe, Fred, and Isold - that provide the intrigue and mystery of the apparent framed insurance scam. The screenplay is so full of holes that it is difficult to follow the case's development. The actors are superb artists: Forest Whitaker made this film almost simultaneously with his Oscar winning 'The Last King of Scotland' yet here his character is plagued by an affected accent and by the lack of substance that might make us care about his plight Julia Stiles does her best with the little she is given to do and Jeremy Renner is convincingly menacing without any factors that make us find him worth caring about. The supporting actors (Joanna Scanlan as a sleazy bartender, Iddo Goldberg and Philip Jackson as the police, Alfred Harmsworth as the 'son' of Isold, and Vladas Bagdonas as the coroner) actually fare better than the leads as far as material available. The strong aspect of the film is the visual imagery, due to the decisions of picture composition by Kormákur and cinematographer Óttar Guðnason and Mugison's musical is apropos for the mood. But the film remains grounded and a bit on the confusing side because of the director's lack of unity. One wonders why Whitaker, Stiles, and Renner signed on to this little film. Grady Harp

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