Far From Heaven

on November 08, 2002 by Shlomo Schwartzberg
From its stylish opening credits to its detailed look and lush score, Todd Haynes' "Far From Heaven" deliberately means to evoke the cinematic world of '50s filmmaker Douglas Sirk. Sirk's films, such as "Magnificent Obsession" and "Imitation of Life," were melodramas about love, taboos and the sensual undercurrents that often threatened to drown conventional, bourgeois American life. "Far From Heaven" drops the melodrama, keeps everything else but subverts Sirk's themes by forthrightly focusing on homosexuality and interracial attraction. It's an interesting experiment, but Haynes doesn't pull it off and, except for Julianne Moore's extraordinarily nuanced performance as Cathy Whitaker, a "typical" '50s housewife who discovers her husband is gay, the film fails to come to life.

Haynes is a talent, but just as in his previous films, "Safe" (where one was conscious of his framing of each scene) and "Velvet Goldmine" (where style smothered content), "Far From Heaven" falters in its execution. Too often, except for the odd swear word or sexually suggestive scene, the movie actually seems to be a 1950s film instead of a movie about the 1950s. It could be a lost Douglas Sirk drama. The dialogue borders, at times, on laughable, and the characterizations, except for Moore's and Patricia Clarkson's as Cathy's best friend, are one-dimensional. As Cathy's deeply closeted husband, Frank, Dennis Quaid is not allowed to display a facade which, like Cathy's, cracks under the onslaught of the truth: He falls apart virtually from the first scene, undercutting his performance. And Dennis Haysbert ("24") as Cathy's educated and kindly African-American gardener, whom she befriends, is a bland, too-good-to-be-true concoction.

Haynes also makes the mistake of stretching the film too thin by assailing the racial as well as the sexual hypocrisy of the decade. The former is not fresh--even Sirk touched on it in "Imitation of Life"--and, more significantly, it detracts from what should have been the film's main, trailblazing focus: the hidden gay underbelly of "Father Knows Best" America. The end result is a film that lacks bite and copies too much from what has come before. Starring Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid and Dennis Haysbert. Directed and written by Todd Haynes. Produced by Christine Vachon and Jody Patton. A Focus release. Drama. Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements, sexual content, brief violence and language. Running time: 107 min. Opens 11/8.

Tags: No Tags

read all Reviews »


  • jendo on 26 May 2018

    So the thanks for https://texttwist.online a great plan in this site.

  • kenkoiii on 08 May 2019

    Wow! Bravo Camille Chabot. Your tenacity has inspired many, I'm sure http://bouncingballsgame.com ; https://red-ball4.com

  • alexlibb on 05 October 2019

    Thanks for sharing the useful post and nice to see this here. Get more about online surveys here. https://krogerfeedback.pro/greatpeople-me-login/

  • mapjohn on 23 March 2020

    Nice to see this post here and thanks for sharing this to us. https://bestspinbikes.me

  • jobstart on 18 April 2020

    KrogerExperiencee Sweepstakes/Rewards Page and take Kroger Experience Survey to Win 50 free fuel bonus points and 100$ gift card..https://krogerexperiencee.com/greatpeople-me-kroger-employee-login-portal

  • jobstart on 20 April 2020

    TellTheBell is the name of the official Survey and Feedback option launched by Taco Bell Restaurant Chain to improve customer satisfaction.

  • skylanorah12 on 04 May 2020

    Kroger has a variety of gifts to offer to those taking part in the survey. It is offering gift cards ranging from $5000 to $250 as well as $100 gift cards. People also have a chance of receiving digital coupons, that are known as Kroger feedback digital coupons. They are denoted as such because they can be won by participating in the survey. https://www.krogerfeedbacks.today/

  • samuelbadri on 04 May 2020

    Rice Test isn't tied in with testing the nature of Rice, or you should give some data on Rice. Actually, it is identified with contemplating human attributes and conduct under some particular conditions. Rice purity test is a test presented by the Rice University, Huston, Texas, United States of America. That is the reason it is named Rice purity test; in actuality, it isn't connected with Rice by any means

  • cpstest on 07 May 2020

    Jitter Click Test is an estimator that is utilized to improve and figure your clicking speed. You can likewise utilize this program utilizing your mouse and even touchpad of your PC. You can likewise utilize this on your telephone by tapping on the screen.

  • nensi on 15 May 2020

    It is good initiative by pro.boxoffice.com, a wonderful addition to the cinema world.
    <a href="https://www.ess-kroger.us/">ess-kroger.us</a>;

  • sagi.ghani@gmail.com on 20 May 2020

    Nice post, i have a lot of interest in filmworld.
    visit our website at
    https://www.ess.kroger.us Express HR

  • sagi.ghani@gmail.com on 22 May 2020

    i love the cinema.
    Visit our Website for more Information at <a href="https://www.ess-kroger.us/">Express Kroger HR</a>

  • jobstart on 12 June 2020

    krogersurveys is considered the largest retailer in the United States in terms of revenue. It has created an online portal for its employees at feed.kroger.com, where they can check their Kroger Eschedule and Kroger Feed.

  • jobstart on 12 June 2020

    Krogerexperiencee is the online customer satisfaction and survey portal for KrogerFeedback and we help customers to take part in online customer satisfaction ...

  • DeloresC123 on 05 November 2020

    It’s a survey portal created by kroger stores to take feedback from their customer. They can visit krogerstoresfeedback.com and take the survey and win rewards.


  • DeloresC123 on 07 November 2020

    Most people keep their old password as the default password, which they have found on their Verizon router. It’s safe if you don’t have to keep the internet from anyone, but if you don’t want to share your internet connection with anyone, then its advisable to change the password. https://myfiosgateway.live/

  • jerrjone on 26 November 2020

    LiteBlue.usps.gov online portal site is specially designed for liteblue usps gov worker. Liteblue is the official portal for United Stated Postal Service employees. Use liteblue.usps.gov to log in to your Liteblue to man age work. https://liteblue.fun

What do you think?