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Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

Original Title : Kingdom of Heaven
Director : Ridley Scott
Writer : William Monahan
Genre : Action
Drama/War
Country : USA
Language : English
Producer : Karim Abouobayd , Mark Albela , Lisa Ellzey , José Luis Escolar , Teresa Kelly , Branko Lustig , Henning Molfenter , Terry Needham , Denise O'Dell , Thierry Potok , Ridley Scott , Ty Warren
Music : Stephen Barton
Harry Gregson-Williams
Junkie XL
Martin Tillman
Photography : John Mathieson
Distributor : Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
MPAA Rating : Rated R for strong violence and epic warfare.
IMDB ID : 0320661
Official site : http://www.kingdomofheaven-lefilm.com/
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poster for "Kingdom of Heaven" by Ridley Scott (2005)
Kingdom of Heaven (2005) - Ridley Scott
 

Starring

Martin Hancock Gravedigger
Michael Sheen Priest
Nathalie Cox Balian's Wife
Eriq Ebouaney Firuz
Jouko Ahola Odo
David Thewlis Hospitaler
Liam Neeson Godfrey
Philip Glenister Squire
Orlando Bloom Balian
Bronson Webb Apprentice
Kevin McKidd English Sergeant
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau Village Sheriff
Steven Robertson Angelic Priest
Marton Csokas Guy de Lusignan
Alexander Siddig Nasir
Velibor Topic Almaric
Michael Shaeffer Young Sergeant
Eva Green Sibylla
Brendan Gleeson Reynald
Nasser Memarzia Muslim Grandee
Jeremy Irons Tiberias
Jon Finch Jerusalem
Edward Norton King Baldwin
Lotfi Yahya Jedidi Old Ibelin Housekeeper (as Lofti Yahya Jedidi
Samira Draa Sibylla's Maid
Ulrich Thomsen Templar Master
Matthew Rutherford Rider
Michael Fitzgerald Humphrey
Ghassan Massoud Saladin
Khaled El Nabaoui Mullah (as Khaled Nabawy
Karim Salah Saracen Messenger (as Karim Saleh
Shane Attwooll Reynald's Templar Knight
Giannina Facio Saladin's Sister
Emilio Doorgasingh Saracen Engineer
Peter Cant Peasant Boy
Angus Wright Richard's Knight
Iain Glen Richard Coeur de Lion
Alex O'Dogherty 
 

Plot

It is the time of the Crusades during the Middle Ages - the world shaping 200-year collision between Europe and the East. A blacksmith named Balian has lost his family and nearly his faith. The religious wars raging in the far-off Holy Land seem remote to him, yet he is pulled into that immense drama. Amid the pageantry and intrigues of medieval Jerusalem he falls in love, grows into a leader, and ultimately uses all his courage and skill to defend the city against staggering odds. Destiny comes seeking Balian in the form of a great knight, Godfrey of Ibelin, a Crusader briefly home to France from fighting in the East. Revealing himself as Balian's father, Godfrey shows him the true meaning of knighthood and takes him on a journey across continents to the fabled Holy City. In Jerusalem at that moment--between the Second and Third Crusades--a fragile peace prevails, through the efforts of its enlightened Christian king, Baldwin IV, aided by his advisor Tiberias, and the military restraint of the legendary Muslim leader Saladin. But Baldwin's days are numbered, and strains of fanaticism, greed, and jealousy among the Crusaders threaten to shatter the truce. King Baldwin's vision of peace--a kingdom of heaven--is shared by a handful of knights, including Godfrey of Ibelin, who swear to uphold it with their lives and honor. As Godfrey passes his sword to his son, he also passes on that sacred oath: to protect the helpless, safeguard the peace, and work toward harmony between religions and cultures, so that a kingdom of heaven can flourish on earth. Balian takes the sword and steps into history.
 

Comments

"Kingdom of Heaven": A Flawed Masterpiece, 6 May 2005 Author: lavatch from Twin Cities, Minnesota In 1935, Cecil B. DeMille made his famous epic "The Crusades" on one of the backlots of Hollywood. What a change in the Ridley Scott film "Kingdom of Heaven" of 2005 with the technical wizardry of a new era! Although it is not a perfect film, it is nonetheless skillfully crafted and well worth the time of any film-goer in our current, troubled age.From the visual and technical standpoint, "Kingdom of Heaven" is masterful. The recreation of medieval France and the city of Jerusalem were brilliant technical achievements. The French landscape recalls the region around medieval Clermont and Vézelay where Pope Urban and Bernard of Clairvaux delivered their momentous calls to arms for the early Crusades. And in the recreation of Jerusalem, the film artists truly drew us into the twelfth-century walled city with sacred roots in Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. Much credit should go to cinematographer John Mathieson, costume designer Janty Yates, and all of the film's art directors. The film's events spanned the era between the Second and Third Crusades, and the evocation of this epoch was simply spectacular.In the genre of the epic film, the leading actor is crucial, as in the unforgettable performances of "Lawrence of Arabia" (Peter O'Toole), "Tess" (Nastassja Kinski), and "Bridge on the River Kwai" (Alec Guiness). One weakness of "Kingdom of Heaven" is leading performer Orlando Bloom. Although this young actor has fine screen presence, his performance was subdued and monochromatic. The Crusaders were driven by zeal, and Bloom's character Balian seems mired in melancholia following the death of his infant child and the subsequent suicide of his wife. Bloom's character does not even evolve much when upon arriving in Jerusalem, he falls in love with the mysterious Sibylla. Neither courtly love nor the fires of faith could ignite a spark of passion or change the expressionless, emotionless face of Orlando Bloom. As Sibylla, Eva Green also seemed out of place in this film. The closest historical prototype for her character was the formidable Eleanor of Aquitaine, who accompanied her husband King Louis on the Second Crusade, during which Eleanor had a stormy affair with her uncle Raymond of Antioch. Eva Green's character seemed closer to a young woman from the twenty-first century, as opposed to the twelfth.Other performances were stronger, including those of Liam Neeson as Balian's father, Jeremy Irons as Tiberias, and Edward Norton as the King. Those actors really resembled medieval knights. Norton's characterization of the king victimized by leprosy and forced to wear a mask was one of the most sensitive character portraits since Ralph Fiennes' role as "The English Patient." Norton's characterization offers a glimpse into the softer side of the great medieval knights, such as the legendary Richard the Lionheart, a poet and troubador, as well as a king. Ghassan Massoud also merits praise for his portrayal of Saladin as not only a brilliant general, but a figure of great dignity.At a time when we are at war in the Middle East, the screenplay and dramatic impact of "Kingdom of God" were thoughtful and worthy of serious reflection for any film-goer. I was especially struck by the theme of honor that ran through the film. The actions of the main character of Balian were guided by honor. And the character of Saladin was portrayed as an individual of great moral rectitude. The Western cultural heritage of chivalry, courtly love, and honor filtered into Europe through Islamic traditions, which "Kingdom of Heaven" seems to acknowledge. There is a powerful moment in the film where Saladin discovers a small Christian cross that has toppled over. He takes the time to pick up the fallen cross and set it aright. In a film filled with special effects and spectacular scenes of siege warfare, that moment of simplicity was the most meaningful and important one for me.
 
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