Far from Heaven Film Review

Topics: Far from Heaven, Douglas Sirk, Julianne Moore Pages: 3 (1245 words) Published: February 28, 2006
During the 50's director Douglas Sirk made his name as the master of melodrama with such classics as "Written on the Wind" and "Imitation of Life," as he examined romantic relations and intrigues that showcased leading man Rock Hudson. In what can only be called heartfelt homage, writer/director Todd Haynes captures the interpersonal angst of Sirk and updates it to the new millennium in "Far From Heaven." Sirk propelled Rock Hudson to movie icon status as a regular player in many of the director's popular flicks using, I think, the actor's secret sexual preference to create characters that had a certain ambiguity about them. With "Far From Heaven" writer/helmer Todd Haynes seems to be doing the same for Julianne Moore. This is the second film that Haynes and Moore have worked together, the first being "Safe," and in this latest collaboration we see a professional relationship that may not be so far from heaven. Moore plays Cathy Whitaker, an upper middle class housewife who tends to her beautiful home in Hartford, Connecticut for her hard-working TV sales exec husband, Frank (Dennis Quaid), and her two young kids. Life is idyllic with Cathy able to demonstrate her liberal attitudes and voice her mind on the time's civil rights issues. She is startled one day, though, when she sees a stranger, a black man, looking around her yard. She soon learns that he is the son of her gardener who has recently died and the son, Raymond Deagan (Dennis Haysbert), the owner of a gardening business, has taken over for his late dad. A friendship soon blooms between the two. Cathy takes for granted that husband Frank is, as usual, working overtime when he's late for a dinner party or drunkenly abuses her verbally in front of friends. But his increasingly surly behavior isn't because he is working long hours. It's because Frank has doubts about his sexual orientation. When Cathy decides to drop off dinner at the office one evening when Frank is working late she catches him in the...
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