Far from Heaven



farfromheavenRainer Werner Fassbinder wasn’t the only one in awe of Douglas Sirk. In this drama, Todd Haynes has recreated everything from Sirk’s films to perfection. One in particular in fact, All That Heaven Allows (1955) – the red, yellow and orange autumn colors in the cinematography, the neat middle-class family, the melodramatic plot. But when the 1950s idyll falls apart in this movie it’s because of passions that never really were revealed in Sirk’s movies. Engrossing; Julianne Moore is touching as the naive housewife with no clue to how her relationship with Dennis Haysbert should be, and Dennis Quaid is very good as her husband, prepared to fight his “disease” with… alcohol.  

2002-U.S. 107 min. Color. Produced by Jody Patton, Christine Vachon. Written and directed by Todd Haynes. Cinematography: Edward Lachman. Music: Elmer Bernstein. Cast: Julianne Moore (Cathy Whitaker), Dennis Quaid (Frank Whitaker), Dennis Haysbert (Raymond Deagan), Patricia Clarkson, Viola Davis, James Rebhorn. 

Trivia: George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh executive-produced. Russell Crowe and Jeff Bridges were allegedly considered for the part of Frank. Later a stage musical.

Venice: Best Actress (Moore).

Last word: “I think one of the reasons why it comes across as having emotional integrity is that we were enjoying it while making it. There was an amorous feeling towards the material. Even when there are lines like “oh, jiminy,” it was with incredible respect and I think that comes through.” (Haynes, Indiewire)

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