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4.7 out of 5 stars37
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 29 March 2009
This is one of the best films I have ever seen. It's a real pity it hasn't been widely circulated in Europe (and not at all in my country, Italy).
Watching it is a spiritual journey. I was moved by the protagonist's quest to find and arouse the individual note in each person singing in his choir, and to compose a piece of music which would open the hearts. I know people who went back to the cinema for 8 nights in a row, when it opened in Germany, and it has become a cult movie in New Zealand and Australia.
The cold Swedish landscape is a wonderful counterpoint to the heartwarming experience of watching damaged human beings bloom into ripeness through the healing power of love and singing.
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on 5 October 2007
This version of the DVD is a Dutch product with the original Swedish soundtrack and Dutch subtitles. There is no english language track or
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on 26 November 2009
What a wonderful film. This story has so many layers and details that it never fails to move me. It is uplifting as well as thought provoking. I recommend this film because it looks at what we all long for... to belong, to be valued, to be loved and accepted and free to express ourselves as we are.... and of course be in community with each other. This film to me is a true masterpiece.
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on 31 August 2007
if ever did anything make my heart burst and ache with emotions that i cannot name than they were all erased by what i felt when i watched this master piece.
the music, the voice, the dream, they go straight into the heart and out again leaving a huge, beautifully aching opening in it.
i wish more films like that were made,
real films
with real people and real emotions
with problems and the hope and power to get over them and move on.
it's one of these fims that show life as it is while giving hope for a better one, a film that shows how strong is music and how powerful is the bond it creates.
master piece is the word, and the emotion it creates is so unusual that i don't think it has a name, whatever it is, it's the strongest i have ever felt.
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on 20 April 2009
rented it by chance and was moved and lifted unlike ever before by a movie. I have yet to see another that comes close (recommendations welcome).
It portrays the story of a rare personality who selflessly and with love transforms the hearts and minds of a whole group of people (not unlike personalities at the birth of some religions)
A nice 'best of' can be found on YouTube (As it is in heaven - Gabriella's song)
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on 14 May 2013
I can safely say this film was an immediate arthouse hit in my country (The Netherlands), and it played in cinemas for over a year due to it's huge popularity. I saw it in cinema twice, both times around Christmas, but in 2 different years :-)

I won't go into the story here, but it'is one of my all-time favorite films. I love arthouse films, and Scandinavian cinema in particular. But unlike many great Scandinavian arthouse films, this one avoids being bleak and gloomy. It's a very uplifting little film, but with a poignant side to it as well. The acting is very natural, and the actress playing the young women Lena made me almost fall in love with her, so headstrong but also so vulnerable. Michael Niqvist is a well-known Swedish actor for those familiar with Scandinavian cinema and series like Wallander, and in the part of the famous conductor Michael, who after a serious burn-out returns to the quiet little Swedish village he grew up in and takes over the failing church choir, he shines again.

A feel-good movie with a difference, in being Swedish and having an unconventional ending. But a feel-good movie nonetheless, one I will re-watch again and again. It's beyond me that there seems to be no English dubbed version around. I feel blessed to have been able to see, and then buy, it with Dutch subtitles as I love listening to Swedish (it adds a whole new layer to the experience that would be completely missed when dubbed). I hope sincerely for all you UK fans of this that such a release will come out sometime in the future. I can;t see why or how this film has been so overlooked in the UK, when it was a huge hit in other countries.
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on 26 August 2008
I just got this DVD and it's been very worth watching (2wice through in 2 days) even though I stupidly got the one without subtitles so I've missed out on quite a bit of understanding in the long talking bits. I did find the words to that beautiful song on u-tube tho'.Fantastic!
Possibly because of the language problem, it did make the whole thing quite a uniquely different film-watching experience,(not nec.a bad thing) but it really reached out to me about finding, expressing and being brave enough to live your truth...
Would love to watch it again - this time understanding the words though.
Maybe there's someone out there who can tell me how I might get hold of an English transcript of the script?!
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on 10 October 2012
This film was a 'recommended watch' and I don't mind films with sub-titles. However, having watched this a couple of times now, I enjoyed it but it is not going to be my super favourite. The story is of a famous conductor returning to his childhood home where, because of his musical abilities, he was bullied as a youngster. When he starts to revive the local church choir, he unearths all sorts of prejudices and ill feelings that have lain dormant or been tacitly accepted and ignored for many years. I found the story rather predictable, although the ending builds up to quite an emotional 'high' . Very watchable, but have the tissues ready.
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on 26 September 2006
This is a beautiful film that makes you cry and laugh and at the same time.

Although one could critisize that it uses certain klischees and stereotypes we all know that if you open your heart things like that can and do actually happen in "real" life.

Overall very inspiring, I love this film!

P.S. Bless all who resist it's magic... ;)
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on 27 September 2007
Så som i himmelen (2004) As It Is In Heaven
A successful international conductor suddenly interrups his career and returns alone to his childhood village in Norrland, in the far north of Sweden.It doesn't take long before he is asked to come and listen to the fragment of a church choir, which practises every Thursday in the parish hall. Just come along and give a little bit of good advice. He can't say no, and from that moment, nothing in the village is the same again. The choir develops and grows. He makes both friends and enemies. And he finds love.

Daniel (Michael Nyqvist)is a renowned conductor, who suffered a painful childhood in his native town of Norrland. There, Daniel was bullied by his school mates, while he was trying to develop a musical career with his mother support. Now, as a conductor, Daniel is very temperamental and has an intolerant character with his musicians as well. He also has a strange condition, which makes him bleed from the nose. After a concert, he has a heart attack. Despite Daniel has professional commitments for the next 10 years, he decides to return to Norrland and make an indefinite retire. In Norrland, Daniel sets in the old and abandoned primary school. The local reverend asks Daniel to work as the church choir's conductor, formed by all kind of villagers, with all kind of problems. Daniel first task will be to teach the choir members to find their own voice tone, and the musical basis. Lena (Frida Hallgren), a charismatic girl, will call Daniel's attention immediately. But Daniel will have to struggle with other problems in the choir, like, a woman who is beaten by their drunk husband, and the prejudices of some members, whom think that Daniel is more interested in Lena than in the choir. However, the envious reverend will begin to feel relegated by Daniel, and will take seriously the accusations about he and Lena. Daniel will have his chance to prove the contrary, taking his group to an important contest, taking place in Viena, Austria.

Nominated for an Oscar and winner several other awards.
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