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Far from Heaven (2002)

 -  Drama  -  12 March 2003 (France)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 31,416 users   Metascore: 84/100
Reviews: 371 user | 170 critic | 37 from Metacritic.com

In 1950s Connecticut, a housewife faces a marital crisis and mounting racial tensions in the outside world.

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Title: Far from Heaven (2002)

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 93 wins & 37 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Dr. Bowman
Bette Henritze ...
Mrs. Leacock
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Jordan Puryear ...
Sarah Deagan
Kyle Timothy Smith ...
Billy Hutchinson (as Kyle Smyth)
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Mona Lauder
...
Doreen
Olivia Birkelund ...
Nancy
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Storyline

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 <jonas.reinartz@web.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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What imprisons desires of the heart? See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements, sexual content, brief violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

12 March 2003 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Far from Heaven  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$13,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$37,347 (Hong Kong) (25 April 2003)

Gross:

$74,530 (Hong Kong) (2 May 2003)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Julianne Moore was pregnant during the filming of this movie. See more »

Goofs

When Cathy enters her husband's office suite to surprise him with dinner, the door has an '80s-style push-plate on the other side of the bar-handle Cathy uses. See more »

Quotes

Raymond: I've learned my lesson about mixing in other worlds. I've seen the sparks fly. All kinds.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The first end credit reads "for Bompi" See more »

Connections

Featured in Anatomy of a Scene: Far from Heaven See more »

Soundtracks

Eagan's Jukebox
Composed by Max Avery Lichtenstein (as Max Lichtenstein)
Performed by Camphor
Courtesy of Tin Drum Recordings
Published by Departure Music Publishing (ASCAP)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The way we were
15 July 2007 | by (Massachusetts) – See all my reviews

A man and his wife enter the office of a man who could possibly save the man from a life threatening illness. THe process includes many visits with a psychiatrist and possibly some electro-shock therapy. No, this person does not have schizophrenia or multiple personality disorder. This man is a homosexual.

Yes, it is true, this man is considered "sick" but that is just one of the many skewed attitudes of the 1950's that director Todd Haynes brings to light in Far From Heaven. Julianne Moore plays Cathy Whitaker, the wife of Frank Whitaker, Dennis Quaid, who are the proud parents of two children. The live the life that people envied. A nice home, money, success, and happiness. All of that comes crashing down when Cathy discovers her husband is not who he really is.

Cathy goes to Frank's work to drop off some dinner only to discover that her husband is in the arms of another man. Frank says that he is "sick" and wants treatment. Cathy, the "super wife" is behind him 100 percent, as if he really had an illness to beat. Frnak is ashamed and doesn't want support, just some privacy while he goes through session after session of therapy to try and make him "normal".

To add to this difficulty, the family gardener passes away and his son Raymond, Dennis Haysbert, takes over. Cathy comes to confide in Raymond and find peace of mind in his attitude and his overall good nature. The neighborhood looks down on their friendship and casts a shadow on the household. Raymond, a black man, is much like Cathy, seeing not color, but people. Even in New Haven, Connecticut, the feeling of white superiority still runs through the veins of its inhabitants.

The movie from start to finish is wonderful. It is a roller-coaster of emotions. Moore, Quaid, and Haysbert give fantastic performances. Even Patricia Clarkson, who plays Cathy one true friend in the neighborhood gives a delightful performance.

It's not just the acting that gives this movie it's lift off of the ground. Haynes direction and the art direction of the film create a pallet of colors and emotions that set the mood for each seen. The film opens in autumn. The leaves are shades of red, yellow, and orange, a true autumnal foliage like you would see on a Vermont postcard. The clothing is a perfect time capsule of the 50's. Haynes also uses a lot of colored lights to directly influence the mood of a scene. The green neon light of the gay bar Frank enters gives a strange feel like an alien world. The blue light that comes in through the windows in his office at night and in their home after a party means something dramatic is taking place.

Elmer Bernstein has racked up 14 nominations for his music, including a win for Throughly Modern Millie. His score for this film is the current that pushes the story along. Like so many great composers, he doesn't create music but a character. Everything is different with the right score to back up a great story.A story and a script that Haynes wrote so beautifully. He captured the lingo that kids used in the 50's and gave us a look at how kind people can be and how despicable some are.

The issues that Haynes tackles in the film are still around today, just not taken so seriously. It is hard to think that only 50 years ago, homosexuals were looked at as sick people and the African-American community was still not welcome. To this day there are still hints of this feeling around the country, but most is left to be talked about in the privacy of our own homes.

Whether or not you are straight or gay, black or white, democrat or republican, we all are people. Haynes shows that even if two people are in harmony, it is the outside influences that can rip them apart. Hatred and tolerance cannot coexist.


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