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Far From Heaven DVD

Todd Haynes, 2002


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Film Details

Directed by Todd Haynes

Produced in 2002

Main Language - ENGLISH

Countries & Regions - American film

MovieMail's Review

Haynes' visually stunning tribute to Douglas Sirk and the fifties melodrama is so much more than mere homage or pastiche. Like Fassbinder, who also remade SIrk's ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS as the brilliant FEAR EATS THE SOUL in 1973, Haynes completely re-invents the genre, creating some kind of masterpiece from the visual fragments of a fifties America rarely seen except in the confines of our Utopian vision of a middle-class society, here shown to be morally corrupt to the core.

Haynes, whose little seen but highly regarded movie SAFE, also starred Julianne Moore, is an extremely clever filmmaker with a keen interest in film history and a rare appreciation for the visual genius of Sirk's great fifties features (IMITATION OF LIFE, MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION, and the monochrome gem THE TARNISHED ANGELS for example). In FAR FROM HEAVEN Haynes pushes the director's control of all elements of the mise-en-scene to stunning lengths to achieve an hypnotic overall effect that never detracts form the audience's enjoyment of a gripping and tense melodrama.

Watch out for the superb central performances (Moore suffers exquisitely in this film as the wife, whilst the ever excellent Dennis Quaid gives his finest performance in many years as her ad executive husband). Less commented on but equally noteworthy is the wonderful Patricia Clarkson (Ruth's sister in the mighty SIX FEET UNDER) in the key role as Julianne Moore's best 'friend'. This is a subtle and brilliant supporting turn, which is crucial to the film's overall message: a subversive comment on middle class suburban American values artfully updated to reflect the sexual and social mores of the 21st century.

Dennis Haysbert, who plays the coloured gardener in FAR FROM HEAVEN (i.e. the Rock Hudson role in Sirk's influential 1957 ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS) is more famous now for his role in television's "24", but movie fans might remember him from one of the best American independent films of the 1990s, Scott McGeehee & David Siegel's monochrome gem SUTURE (1992). He also starred with Michelle Pfeiffer in the underrated LOVE FIELD and is one of the most interesting character actors around.

Like Sirk remade by Ozu via David Lynch, this is an austere masterpiece and one of the best American films of its year. In short it is unmissable entertainment for all fans of cinema and further evidence, if any were needed, that Todd Haynes is one of the most exciting directors in American cinema.

Mike McCahill on 17th August 2003
Author of 355 reviews

Film Description

An ingenious homage to the work of Douglas Sirk, with Julianne Moore on superb form as a housewife whose world falls apart when she discovers her husband in bed with another man.

DVD Details

Certificate: 12

Publisher: Entertainment in Video

Length: 107 mins

Format: DVD Colour

Region: 2

Released: 20th October 2003

Cat No: EDV9190

DVD Extras

  • Commentaries: Todd Haynes (director)
  • Filmmakers Experience. Anatomy of a Scene.

Community Reviews

by Anon on 14th June 2004

Haynes' visually stunning tribute to Douglas Sirk and the fifties melodrama is so much more than mere homage or pastiche. Like Fassbinder, who also remade SIrk's ALL T... Read on


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