No, this list-maker hasn’t had the pleasure of devouring Kate Hudson’s ticking-clock romance, A Little Bit of Heaven, which sees everyone’s favorite Almost Famous alum continue to chase her first hit like an undiscerning free-baser. The movie did, however, inspire thoughts of cinema’s approach to the great hereafter, which has been visualized as everything from an inhabitable oil painting to your good old field of clouds. Diagnosed with terminal cancer by a doctor (Gael García Bernal) who in turn becomes her squeeze, Hudson’s character tries for a little heaven on earth before her time runs out. These 15 heavens, however, almost all exist on another plane.
Angels in America (2003). Described by fab nurse Belize (Jeffrey Wright) as “a city like San Francisco,” the promised land in Mike Nichols’s epic rendering of Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer-crowned play indeed shows the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance when Prior (Justin Kirk) ascends fate’s fiery ladder. But heaven’s landscape is in fact a decked-out version of the ruins of Hadrian’s Villa, which rests on a vast expanse at an appropriately high altitude in Tivoli. Yearning for more life, the AIDS-afflicted Prior stands up to the senior angels, rejecting prophet responsibilities and taking a parting blessing before returning to earth via the Villa’s famed, majestic pool.