Some Kind of Heaven

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Synopsis

With Some Kind of Heaven, first-time feature director Lance Oppenheim cracks the manicured facade of The Villages, America’s largest retirement community – a massive, self-contained utopia located in Central Florida. Behind the gates of this palm tree-lined fantasyland, Some Kind of Heaven invests in the dreams and desires of a small group of Villages residents – and one interloper – who are unable to find happiness within the community’s pre-packaged paradise. With strikingly composed cinematography, this candy-colored documentary offers a tender and surreal look at the never-ending quest for finding meaning and love in life’s final act.

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Metacritic

100
Jan 21, 2021

Some Kind Of Heaven is a surreal, visually sublime slice of life that offers escapism and subverts it in the same breath, an enduring portrait of a particular subculture the likes of which I haven’t seen probably since Wildwood, NJ. I spent virtually the entire 83 minutes laughing, slapping my forehead, or both.

Vince Mancini
Uproxx
85
Jan 19, 2021

All this seriousness about love, loss and the human needs that start up early and continue until the end aren’t without a sense of fun. Some Kind of Heaven’s glib punchlines (like its title) and aesthetic choices (like a voyeuristic camera and thrillery score accompanying Dennis’ more slimy schemes) work best when they’re paired with some nicely dry moments of undermining honesty.

Jacob Oller
Paste Magazine
88
Jan 19, 2021

Robert Browning promised that old age would be the last of life for which the first is made. But in Some Kind of Heaven, a documentary about a retirement community with a population the size of New Haven, we see that for better and worse and despite the best efforts of all involved, the last of life is filled with many of the same uncertainties, conflicts, loneliness, and fears of all the other ages.

Metacritic review by Nell Minow
Nell Minow
RogerEbert.com