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Far from Heaven

2002 Drama

Maverick director Todd Haynes embraces the look and feel of classic Hollywood melodramas of the 1950s in this period drama. Cathy Whitaker (Julianne Moore) and her husband, Frank (Dennis Quaid), are a seemingly perfect couple; living in a handsome suburban neighborhood in Hartford, CT, in 1957, Cathy and Frank have a beautiful home and two happy, healthy children, while Frank pursues a successful career in sales and Cathy cares for the home. But Cathy has begun to sense something isn't quite right in her marriage, as Frank begins working late, spending less time with her, and seems cold and distant. One day, Cathy visits Frank's work and discovers something she never expected -- her husband is kissing a man. At Cathy's urging, Frank undergoes psychotherapy, but as she tries to keep up a brave face, the emotional trauma takes a great toll on her, and she finds there are very few people she can talk with. Cathy strikes up a friendship with Raymond Deagan (Dennis Haysbert), an African-American gardener who works for the Whitakers, and as she discovers how intelligent and compassionate Raymond is, she finds herself drawn to him. However, Hartford is in many ways still a small town, and when Mona (Celia Weston) sees Cathy and Raymond alone together, it sets off a wave of vicious gossip that threatens to make the Whitakers' many secrets public knowledge. Far from Heaven premiered at the 2002 Venice Film Festival, where Julianne Moore's performance won the prize for Best Actress. more..

Director: Todd Haynes

Starring: Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid, Dennis Haysbert, Patricia Clarkson, Viola Davis

Reviews

  • It rediscovers the aching, desiring humanity in a genre -- and a period-- too often subjected to easy parody or ironic appropriation. In a word, it's divine.

    Dana Stevens - The New York Times

    19 January 2013

  • The film's three leads are extraordinary, but what Moore does with her role is so beyond the parameters of what we call great acting that it nearly defies categorization.

    Manohla Dargis - Los Angeles Times

    19 January 2013

  • Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid and Dennis Haysbert are called on to play characters whose instincts are wholly different from their own. By succeeding, they make their characters real, instead of stereotypes.

    Roger Ebert - The Chicago Sun-Times

    19 January 2013

  • Bold and brilliant.

    Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly

    19 January 2013

  • This is a love letter from one auteur to another that doesn't feel like a term paper. Instead, Far From Heaven is an honest-to-God drama with resonance all its own.

    Wesley Morris - The Boston Globe

    19 January 2013

Awards

  • Best Actress in a Leading Role

    Academy Awards (2003)

     
  • Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Theatrical Releases

    American Society of Cinematographers (2003)

     
  • Theatrical - Best Supporting Actor

    Black Reel Awards (2003)

  • Best American Film (Bedste amerikanske film)

    Bodil Awards (2004)

     
  • Best Cinematography

    Boston Society of Film Critics Awards (2002)