Entertainment Weekly - 09/27/2002
"...FAR FROM HEAVEN is nothing short of a masterpiece....It seems, in a single visionary stroke, to have taken the spirit of American independent cinema and brought it full circle back to the soul of vintage Hollywood..."
Hollywood Reporter - 09/03/2002
"...It's a bold experiment....[With a] terrific look and perfectly pitched performances..."
Rolling Stone - 10/19/2002
"...A gorgeously overheated imitation of life..."
Variety - 09/09/2002
"...An accomplished marriage of elaborate style and content....The film is a jewel on every technical level. Its visual sumptuousness seduces from the opening frame to the last..."
New York Times - 11/08/2002
"...Ardent and intelligent....Mr. Haynes is fiercely devoted to his actors....It discover the aching, desiring humanity in a genre -- and a period....In a word, it's divine..."
USA Today - 11/08/2002
"...Haynes gets the look and feel right...FAR FROM HEAVEN also has emotional force..."
Total Film - 01/01/2004
"Julianne Moore is excellent."
Uncut - 03/01/2005
"Quaid won numerous awards....Arguably his richest performance."
The model marriage of Frank (Dennis Quaid) and Cathy Whitaker (Julianne Moore) in 1950s Hartford is depicted in television ads, and a magazine features photographs of Cathy as a model homemaker and citizen. Yet, behind the curtains of their dream home, Cathy and Frank hide scandalous secrets. Frank has been masquerading his homosexuality and is seeing a doctor for a heterosexual conversion. Meanwhile, Cathy finds solace in her gardener, Raymond (Dennis Haysbert), a black man about whom Cathy must conceal her growing feelings, since simply being seen with him is cause for scandal.
Filmmaker Douglas Sirk employed the trappings of the melodrama to satirize and criticize narrow minds in the 1950s status quo with films such as ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS. Todd Haynes (SAFE) uses Sirk's highly stylized universe to critique society half a century later in FAR FROM HEAVEN. The film uses thematic elements of Sirk's such as isolating characters through windows and vivid, symbolic colors and flowers. It also applies Sirkian plot devices such as gossiping neighbors and demonizing television. Attacking prejudice, Haynes' methods are particularly effective as he uses an antiquated style of filmmaking to shed light on societal problems that are pervasive even in the 21st Century.
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