Far From Heaven View large image

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Film Details

Directed by: Todd Haynes

Produced: 2002

Countries & Regions: United States

DVD Details

Certificate: 12

Studio: Entertainment in Video

Length: 107 mins

Format: DVD

Region: Region 2

Released: 20 October 2003

Cat No: EDV9190

Extras:
Languages(s): English
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Far From Heaven

Cast: James Rebhorn , Julianne Moore , Dennis Quaid , Patricia Clarkson , Dennis Haysbert , Viola Davis , Michael Gaston , Celia Weston

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Todd Haynes’ tale of 1950s prejudices in America. Housewife Cathy Whitaker (Julianne Moore) thinks she has the perfect set-up; two... Read More

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Todd Haynes’ tale of 1950s prejudices in America. Housewife Cathy Whitaker (Julianne Moore) thinks she has the perfect set-up; two children, a successful husband (Dennis Quaid) and a house in the suburbs. But this vision is shattered one night when she surprises her husband at work and finds him in the arms of another man. Not able to tell anyone in her social circle, she finds solace with their African-American gardener, Raymond (Dennis Haysbert). However, when they are seen alone together by Cathy’s best friend (Celia Weston) - a social taboo in that era - the gossip begins and this threatens to reveal the Whitaker’s secret life.

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.

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.

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