Far From Heaven 2002 PG-13 CC

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(268) IMDb 7.4/10
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Oscar nominee Julianne Moore stars with Dennis Quaid in this seductive story of a seemingly perfect family and the forbidden desires that threaten to tear them apart.

Starring:
Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid
Runtime:
1 hour, 49 minutes

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Far From Heaven

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance
Director Todd Haynes
Starring Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid
Supporting actors Dennis Haysbert, Patricia Clarkson, Viola Davis, James Rebhorn, Bette Henritze, Michael Gaston, Ryan Ward, Lindsay Andretta, Jordan Puryear, Kyle Timothy Smith, Celia Weston, Barbara Garrick, Olivia Birkelund, Stevie Ray Dallimore, Mylika Davis, Jason Franklin, Gregory Marlow, C.C. Loveheart
Studio NBC Universal
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

129 of 138 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 5, 2003
Format: DVD
With FAR FROM HEAVEN, writer-director Todd Haynes meticulously recreates the look and conventions of 1950s "domestic drama"--and then subverts it. Like all domestic drama heroines, Cathy Whittaker (Julianne Moore) is a glamorous woman, and the film finds her married to Frank (Dennis Quaid), a rising executive in television sales. They are the perfect 1950s family: they are upwardly mobile, have two children (a boy and a girl, of course), live in an expensive home in an expensive residential district. One evening, Cathy unexpectedly opens a door--and discovers that Frank is unfaithful to her.
If this were a Douglas Sirk film starring Lana Turner, Cathy would have found Frank in the arms of another woman and done battle with her to save her marriage. But Frank is in the arms of another man, something that falls completely outside Cathy's frame of reference. Desperate to save her marriage, she encourages Frank to see a psychiatrist; unable to confide in her friends lest she provoke a scandal, she finds solace in the company of her gardener. But he is black--and when their largely innocent friendship is discovered it provokes the very scandal she feared.
The themes of homosexuality and racism are merely the most obvious way in which Haynes subverts the genre. More interestingly, Haynes essentially presents us with characters trapped between the stereotypes of 1950s domestic drama and hard reality, and the result is often quite surreal. Time and again the characters respond to harsh reality by resorting to the high-flown dialogue and awkward dollops of social consciousness typical of the genre--and time and again the nature of the film works to highlight how ridiculously unnatural this response is.
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97 of 110 people found the following review helpful By Eric Anderson on November 19, 2002
The tremendously talented director Todd Haynes, has created an amazing new film called Far From Heaven. It is the 1950s in Hartford, Connecticut. Cathy Whitaker (Julianne Moore) lives in a perfectly lovely house with a perfectly lovely family. She is a respected and envied member of her community, admired for her liberal mind and successful husband. However, as the film progresses we see trouble brewing between husband and wife. Frank Whitaker ( Dennis Quaid) is coming home later in the evenings and his drinking is slipping out of control. Then Cathy, ever the dutiful wife, walks into Frank's office late one night while delivering his dinner and discovers her husband's horrible secret. The occurrence is such a shocking rupture to their peaceful world that they aren't able to summon the language to articulate it. Instead, they try to carry on as if nothing has changed using the most modern psychological methods to deal with it. But it becomes increasingly obvious that this isn't possible despite running away to a peaceful vacation in Miami where Cathy proclaims "Everything is pink!" Not least of all because Cathy has befriended her new black gardener (Dennis Haysbert) and the town sure is talking. These characters all struggle to voice their independent needs in a society whose code of conduct is so strict that anything which deviates from it must be swept quickly under the carpet or violently vilified, where "jiminy cricket" is considered strong language not to be used in the house.
From the moment the camera pans down on this perfect community life, we realise we are looking through the prismatic lens of America's most prominent ideals: happy family, affluent lifestyle, happy home.
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44 of 50 people found the following review helpful By MICHAEL ACUNA on November 8, 2002
"Far from Heaven" is Todd Haynes' homage and attempt to recreate what was called, in the 50's and 60's, a "weepie," a domestic melodrama with all the attendant production values: lush musical score, sumptuous costumes and a heroine with big concerns/problems mostly having to do with Love, Family and usually both. Think "Written on the Wind," "Magnificent Obsession" or "All that Heaven Allows." The problem with this kind of a venture is that in order for it to work it must be handled in a non-ironic, straightforward manner. Haynes's and his actors succeed most but not 100% of the time. The very nature of an enterprise like this calls for a somewhat arch and precise acting technique as we are dealing with a dead genre probably farther removed from our 2002 reality than are Shakespeare's plays.
Like the best of these films, "Far from Heaven" can be unbelievably moving; when we are not only marveling at the gorgeous mise en scene but when the superior acting abilities of the amazing Julianne Moore as Cathy shine through.
Cathy and her husband Frank (Dennis Quaid) lead a tranquil life in Connecticut where beautiful and well-put together Cathy is slowly withering away, being eaten alive by the fact that her perfect life is irrevocably punctured when she catches her husband in the arms of another man. But this is not all. Cathy's natural openness towards everyone she comes across as well as her empathy for other races specifically her African American gardener Raymond (Dennis Haysbert) is also causing gossip among her friends and her neighbors. The outwardly disapproving and disgusted looks on the townspeople's faces when Cathy is with Raymond are laughable in one way but in another really goes to the heart of race relations then as well as now.
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