On a rainy London night in 1946, novelist Maurice Bendrix has a chance meeting with Henry Miles, husband of his ex-mistress Sarah, who abruptly ended their affair two years before. ... See full summary »
A man coping with the institutionalization of his wife because of Alzheimer's disease faces an epiphany when she transfers her affections to another man, Aubrey, a wheelchair-bound mute who also is a patient at the nursing home.
A mute woman along with her young daughter, and her prized piano, are sent to 1850s New Zealand for an arranged marriage to a wealthy landowner, and she's soon lusted after by a local worker on the plantation.
Cathy is the perfect 50s housewife, living the perfect 50s life: healthy kids, successful husband, social prominence. Then one night she surprises her husband Frank kissing another man, and her tidy world starts spinning out of control. In her confusion and grief, she finds consolation in the friendship of their African-American gardener, Raymond - a socially taboo relationship that leads to the further disintegration of life as she knew it. Despite Cathy and Frank's struggle to keep their marriage afloat, the reality of his homosexuality and her feelings for Raymond open a painful, if more honest, chapter in their lives. Written by
Jonas A. Reinartz <email@example.com>
Coming out of the theater from watching The Three Faces of Eve (1957), Frank enters the movie theater lobby with his overcoat over his arm. He turns as a man climbs the stairs. Frank turns back and he is wearing the overcoat. See more »
That was the day I stopped believing in the wild ardor of things. Perhaps in love, as well. That kind of love. The love in books and films. The love that tells us to abandon our lives and plans, all for one brief touch of Venus. So often we fail at that kind of love. The world just seems too fragile a place for it. And of every other kind, life remains full. Perhaps it's just we who are too fragile.
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Todd Haynes' achievement in his homage to the films of Douglas Sirk is so complete, and seems so carefree that it is easy to dismiss FAR FROM HEAVEN as a trifle. The look of such ease is deceptive, however. Haynes' accomplishment, that of telling a new story through a loving recreation of the 50's weepy, is visually sumptuous and sweetly moving. The painstaking effort, from the amazingly overblown dialogue (ever so slightly exaggerated from the style of the actual 50's weepy) to the oversaturated colors and evocative score, never strains the film.
In Julianne Moore he finds the perfect heroine. Her performance is so skilled that we don't see her at work. Though nominated, Ms. Moore was sadly overlooked at the 2003 Oscars. Apparently no one could see past Nicole Kidman's prosthetic nose in THE HOURS. (When a beautiful actress plays "ugly" she wins an award. Ms. Kidman's performance in THE HOURS is one of her best in that deeply moving film, but it hardly matches the subtlety and difficulty of Ms. Moore's work in FAR FROM HEAVEN.) With such breathtaking ease that we forget she is acting, Ms. Moore scales the grand challenge of using melodramatic dialogue that verges deliberately on camp to reveal the tenderness and desire of the naive 50's housewife who is the center of FAR FROM HEAVEN. (Watch her face in an early scene where she and the excellent Patricia Clarkson talk with their girlfriends about their respective marriages.)
Credit must be given to Haynes as well, who asks his cast to play it straight. Ms. Moore, who consistently achieves beauty and depth with each performance, brings this tender film to life. She has a fine counterpart in the handsome and Dennis Quaid who has not had such a plumb role since his early days.
Though every film should stand on its own, you should check out the milieu that Todd Haynes is working in the oeuvre of Douglas Sirk being the main source but you can also check out earlier films like DARK VICTORY and other domestic dramas.
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