7.4/10
38,779
381 user 184 critic

Far from Heaven (2002)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 10 January 2003 (USA)
In 1950s Connecticut, a housewife faces a marital crisis and mounting racial tensions in the outside world.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
4,875 ( 2,110)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 101 wins & 91 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Safe (1995)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An affluent and unexceptional homemaker in the suburbs develops multiple chemical sensitivity.

Director: Todd Haynes
Stars: Julianne Moore, Xander Berkeley, Dean Norris
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Ruminations on the life of Bob Dylan, where six characters embody a different aspect of the musician's life and work.

Director: Todd Haynes
Stars: Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Heath Ledger
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In 1984, British journalist Arthur Stuart investigates the career of 1970s glam superstar Brian Slade, who was heavily influenced in his early years by hard-living and rebellious American singer Curt Wild.

Director: Todd Haynes
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Christian Bale
Poison (1991)
Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Three intercut stories about outsiders, sex and violence. In "Hero," Richie, at age 7, kills his father and flies away. After the event, a documentary in cheesy lurid colors asks what ... See full summary »

Director: Todd Haynes
Stars: Edith Meeks, Larry Maxwell, Susan Norman
Carol (2015)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An aspiring photographer develops an intimate relationship with an older woman in 1950s New York.

Director: Todd Haynes
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An upper-class widow falls in love with a much younger, down-to-earth nurseryman, much to the disapproval of her children and criticism of her country club peers.

Director: Douglas Sirk
Stars: Jane Wyman, Rock Hudson, Agnes Moorehead
The Hours (2002)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The story of how the novel "Mrs. Dalloway" affects three generations of women, all of whom, in one way or another, have had to deal with suicide in their lives.

Director: Stephen Daldry
Stars: Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

Cathy is the perfect 50s housewife, living the perfect 50s life: healthy kids, successful husband, social prominence. Then one night she stumbles in on 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

Taglines:

What imprisons desires of the heart? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

10 January 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dem Himmel so fern  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$13,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$211,279, 10 November 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$15,854,988, 6 April 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In the middle of shooting, the production's bond company took away the easy-pass cards used by the teamsters on the crew during their daily commute over the Jersey turnpike to locations. This ended up costing the production more, as the drivers still used the no-stop toll lanes at the turnpike and ended up incurring fines. See more »

Goofs

On the train station, when the train is leaving, a woman in purple walks between Cathy and the train. Next shot, the woman is gone. See more »

Quotes

[Frank is drunk at the cocktail party]
Stan Fine: Frank is the luckiest guy in town!
Frank Whitaker: It's all smoke and mirrors, fellas. That's all it is. You should see her without her face on.
Doreen: Frank!
Cathy Whitaker: No, he's absolutely right. We ladies are never what we appear, and every girl has her secrets.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References The Three Faces of Eve (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

Ballet Piece
Written by Cynthia Millar
Published by Caramandel Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Very Close to Heaven
11 January 2003 | by See all my reviews

Todd Haynes' Far From Heaven, a homage to the 1950s melodramas of Douglas Sirk, is an exquisitely crafted film of beauty and grace. The world that Haynes creates is so meticulously detailed that one almost forgets that the movie isn't fifty years old.

Julianne Moore deserves an Academy Award for her portrayal of Cathy Whitaker, a homemaker whose idyllic life begins to disintegrate when she learns that her husband is gay. Moore's Cathy is a delicate woman who would like to be courageous, but can't be because of the world that she is trapped in. As her innocence begins to die, she realizes how empty and superficial her life is. When she begins a cautious romance with her black gardener (Dennis Haysbert) she begins to see the racism and hypocrisy that forms the underbelly of a seemingly perfect world. At the end of the film Cathy has no illusions, and realizes that the life that she thought was perfect is actually a never-ending hell.

Dennis Quaid is equally stunning as Cathy's tortured husband Frank. After Cathy discovers his homosexuality, the two are forced to grapple with a truth that neither of them can comprehend. Frank goes to a doctor for "treatment," and his confession is heartbreaking. He says that he "can't let this thing, this sickness, destroy my life. I'm going to beat this thing." We look at Frank and pity him because we realize that such a feat is impossible, and unnecessary, but Frank does not possess that knowledge. Frank begins to drink more, and when he finally breaks down and tells Cathy that he has fallen in love with another man, all of the anger, shame, and joy comes pouring out of him all at once. It is a supremely moving moment, and the best performance of Quaid has ever given.

As the marriage between Cathy and Frank begins to unravel, the two also begin to fight. All of Cathy and Frank's arguments and confessions take place at night, bathed in shadows. The truth has no place in this bright, artificial world, and it must stay hidden at all costs. One night, when Frank tries to make love to Cathy and can't, Cathy tries to placate him, saying that he is "all man" to her. At that remark Frank hits her, and for a moment the audience does not breathe. Cathy then asks quietly for her husband to get her some ice. Cathy is all restraints, and it is only with her kind gardener that she has a chance to break free. The scenes between Moore and Haysbert crackle with erotic energy because everything remains unsaid. When Cathy finally asks him to dance with her, it is a moment when we realize what human beings are capable of being together.

The fourth example of stellar acting comes from Patricia Clarkson as Cathy's best friend Eleanor. Eleanor is a bitter, gossipy, cold-hearted woman, and when she tells Cathy "I am your best friend," you want to scream to Cathy not to believe her. Clarkson makes the most of her rather limited screen time, and turns in a fascinatingly layered performance.

Far From Heaven may very well be the best picture of the year. In creating an artificial world, Todd Haynes has managed to lay bare the human soul in a way that has never been done before. It is a moving and important motion picture, populated with some of the most nuanced acting I have ever seen. Cathy and Frank Whitiker may be far from heaven, but the film comes about as close to heaven as is possible.


114 of 134 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 381 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Best of 2017: Our Favorite Movie and TV Stills

Take a look at our favorite movie and TV stills from the past year. Spot any of your faves?

Browse the Best of 2017