Review: “Far From Heaven”

A ravishing masterpiece by Todd Haynes (POISON; VELVET GOLDMINE), who channels Douglas Sirk by setting his melodrama in 50s suburban Connecticut, with Julianne Moore as perfect wife and mother Cathy Whitaker whose idyllic privileged life unravels when she catches her husband (Dennis Quaid) in the arms of another man. The only person she can open up to is her black gardener Raymond (wonderful Dennis Haysbert) which ostracizes her from her friends and neighbors. With its lush Elmer Bernstein score, gorgeous autumnal visuals by cinematographer Edward Lachman, visionary costumes by Sandy Powell, like Sirk’s glossy, expressionistic, tearjerkers, you find yourself laughing and incredibly moved at the same time. Haynes has always walked an irony tightrope but Moore’s extraordinary performance gives the film it’s emotional weight and power. Almost a companion piece to SAFE—Moore’s aching fragility reverberates violently beneath her June Cleaver constraining drag.

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