A Little Trip to Heaven

on September 12, 2005 by Kevin Courrier
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A rather clever film noir script is given a rather icy pallor -- both literally and figuratively -- by director Baltasar Kormakur ("101 Reykjavik," "The Sea"). Consequently, you have to fight inertia to make your way through to the end.

In this '80s-set drama, Holt (Forest Whitaker) is an insurance adjuster investigating a dubious life insurance claim in the bitter cold of Hastings, Minnesota. According to the police, they found the body of a disreputable scam artist who was killed in a car crash while driving to see his sister, Isold (Julia Stiles). Since the body was burned to a crisp, positive identification was difficult, but Holt still thinks something is fishy. In particular, he doesn't trust Isold's sleazy husband, Fred (Jeremy Renner), whom he thinks may be the real scam artist.

"A Little Trip to Heaven" has all the usual film noir tropes like the femme fatale, corrupt heroes and expedient bureaucrats (Peter Coyote, in fine form), but the pacing makes you feel like you're trudging through the snow. Starring Forest Whitaker, Julia Stiles, Jeremy Renner and Peter Coyote. Directed and written by Baltasar Kormakur. Produced by Joni Sighvatsson and Baltasar Kormakur. No distributor set. Drama. Not yet rated. Running time: 98 min

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