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Overall Rating
4.22

Awesome51.82%
Worth A Look: 32.73%
Average: 4.55%
Pretty Bad: 7.27%
Total Crap: 3.64%

9 reviews, 56 user ratings


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Far from Heaven
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by Kelly Palma

"Julianne Moore at her best. Definitely an Oscar worthy performance."
5 stars

Todd Haynes previously known from Velvet Goldmine and Safe (which also starred Moore) wrote and directed Far From Heaven. He assembled a fabulous team of artists for this movie which uses color and light the way they were meant to be used. Every character has a color palette all their own. It was like stepping into a 1950s fantasy world. This film is award worthy for the sheer technical aspects of it. But guess what? The story is great too. It tackles some pretty hard hitting issues as well; Racism, Homosexuality and a woman’s place within her family.

Far From Heaven tells the tale of the Whitaker Family. Cathy (Julianne Moore) and Frank (Dennis Quaid) are Mr and Mrs Magnatech. The quintessencial 1950s family an all American ideal. Then one day whilst being the oh so caring wife Cathy decides to bring Frank dinner because he is working late at the office. Uh oh not such a good idea - she finds him kissing another man. Tossing her tupperware and flinging her skirts to the wind, Cathy runs and wonders what to do now.

Frank attempts therapy, while Cathy becomes a little too friendly with their black gardener Raymond Deagan (24's Dennis Haysbert). She even GASP goes so far as to be seen in public with him. Big mistake, the town gossip spys Cathy and Raymond going into a typically 'black' diner/bar and soon spreads the word all over town. Cathy can't even bring herself to confide in her bestfriend Eleanor Fine (Patricia Clarkson) about her troubled marriage or her blossoming friendship with Raymond.

Frank and Cathy try everything to revive their failing marriage even a trip to Miami, where Frank ends up in the arms of another man. It all comes to a head at a cocktail party where Frank has a little too much of the hooch and lets his tongue get the best of him.

It's interesting to note that the townsfolk are more accepting of Frank's homosexual urges, than they are of Cathy befriending a man of color. Oddly enough that's what makes this film so beautiful COLOR. Haynes did a fabulous job and I for one will be purchasing the DVD and rooting Julianne Moore on at the Oscars!

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=6299&reviewer=88
originally posted: 02/13/03 09:12:51
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2002 Vancouver Film Festival. For more in the 2002 Vancouver Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 SXSW Film Festival. For more in the 2005 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

11/05/15 David Hollingsworth Amazing film! 5 stars
7/31/08 Ramone Haynes' academic approach doesn't neglect real emotion here 5 stars
6/21/07 fools♫gold Almost as SHOCKINGLY flawless as "Yes." 5 stars
6/01/07 Anton Though the story was a bit flat, Julianne gives another incredible performance. 5 stars
12/28/06 Rob H Felt like an academic exercise or parody. Could not get into it. 2 stars
10/27/06 Matt H. Flawless cinematography, really amazing, however I do believe the story was a bit flat. 4 stars
8/16/06 anthonyuk when will the oscars recognize julianne moore as one of the best ever 5 stars
1/03/06 Daveman Hammy, even by melodrama standards. 2 stars
6/02/05 JFK great actings, great plot. Bad ending 4 stars
12/12/04 Charlene Javier Julianne Moore was robbed! 5 stars
9/26/04 NJ Cup Winner 95-00-03 Not as good as I had hoped, tho I respect Moore & Dennis a lot 4 stars
10/05/03 Darryl Seen all this before. Just maybe not in 1957 Hartford. Nothing special. J. Moore is good. 3 stars
10/02/03 Jinnvisible People have Gay and Interracial love problems-- YES WE KNOW-beautifull photography though 4 stars
9/12/03 filmfatale Excellent and riveting movie - Julianne did a great job! 5 stars
8/28/03 Chris The film's not perfect but very good none the less. The actors were all excellent. 4 stars
8/15/03 Ayla much better than expected 4 stars
7/25/03 Léo parent I LOVE THIS MOVIE I THINK IT,A GREAT MOVIE 5 stars
6/03/03 brentley The acting, the cinematography, the set design, everything - was all top notch. 5 stars
5/31/03 Jack Sommersby Familiar ideas directed and performed with flair and power. A wonderful film. 4 stars
5/26/03 Gil Carlson Hopelessly over rated and highly improbable 2 stars
5/12/03 Artist Freak Not as aweomse as I thought it would be. Nice cinematography tho. 4 stars
4/20/03 Boo Splendid 5 stars
4/06/03 gay man who's sirk 5 stars
3/23/03 Kyle Not bad. Didn't meet my expectations, though... 3 stars
3/20/03 regy A quiet gem of a movie. 5 stars
3/05/03 James Renwick Touching and moving motion picture. Society is still like in som many ways 4 stars
2/21/03 Jim the movie geek Slow and unreal in parts, but some powerful bits. 4 stars
2/14/03 Andrew Carden Excellent film, with great performances. Kudos To Julianne Moore 5 stars
2/13/03 Joe Tackled these subjects poorly, go rent a Sirk film instead 1 stars
2/13/03 kz Cinema at its Best 5 stars
2/12/03 alien assassin If you don't like this, dust off your collection of "happy days" videos. 5 stars
1/10/03 Goofy Maxwell *sniff* The style is just so beautiful. *sniff* Disillusionment is oh so painful. 5 stars
1/01/03 Mitchell Morris It's not a movie, it's something better—a "picture." 5 stars
12/25/02 Marshall Among the 21st century's first classic films. 5 stars
12/25/02 gg excellent but a bit overstated; technical mastery of late 1950's look is worth going for. 4 stars
12/24/02 Donna Horrendous propoganda in which no character is remotely close to the 50's. 1 stars
12/24/02 anna an incredibly artistic piece of work 5 stars
12/23/02 laura This film is so heavy handed and lacking in subtlety, it's offensive. I'm shocked as well. 2 stars
12/22/02 take1 Very enjoyable 5 stars
12/22/02 RS This could and should have been a good film. It wasn't. 1 stars
12/19/02 geekLove disturbed. Not a good date movie = the husband (me) turns gay, wife (date) loves gardener. 3 stars
12/18/02 steve interesting film for those that love "film," but honestly, it left me feeling cold. 3 stars
12/17/02 Cory Phaeus Moore and Quaid's "acting" is so patently phony, I am astounded the "critics" loved them. 1 stars
12/17/02 This Charming Man perfect period piece - excellent acting 5 stars
12/17/02 Stephen Essential viewing 5 stars
12/15/02 john Score detracts, attempts at saluting sirk distracts, story is weak 2 stars
12/15/02 Mike G Julianne Moore's acting and the set design is amazing! 5 stars
12/13/02 VINCENT LOCASCIO THIS FILM SHOWCASES DENNIS QUAID'S AMAZING ACTING ABILITIES BUT JULIANNE MOORE IS THE STAR. 5 stars
12/11/02 renegade mike the struggle to achieve in atmosphere got in the way of a really compelling story 2 stars
12/10/02 AgainstTheGrain This movie was an academic exercise. Save money, rent a Douglas Sirk movie! 2 stars
12/09/02 Flora P. Re establishes racial boundaries, Negro as spiritual help for troubled white woman 2 stars
12/08/02 David Hogan Stunning in every respect, and a movie that makes me understand why I love movies. 5 stars
12/06/02 Suzz beautiful looking film; fine performances; but flat and uninvolving 3 stars
11/26/02 marzio arigoni@rtsi.ch What a nice surprise: good film, superb cinematography, Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid sim 5 stars
11/21/02 Kenmeister Well-made, well -acted melodrama. The only part that rings false is Raymond. 4 stars
11/10/02 Ariya Best film of the year 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  08-Nov-2002 (PG-13)
  DVD: 01-Apr-2003

UK
  N/A

Australia
  06-Feb-2003




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