In 1950s Connecticut, a flustered housewife faces a marital crisis and mounting racial tensions in the outside world.In 1950s Connecticut, a flustered housewife faces a marital crisis and mounting racial tensions in the outside world.In 1950s Connecticut, a flustered housewife faces a marital crisis and mounting racial tensions in the outside world.
This is the definition of a melodrama, but it serves the purpose completely and not the type of melodrama you would expect in this day and age. Everything is heightened in it's intensity. The incredible cinematography and use of colors is something to marvel at, and in terms of how the cinematography was constructed I don't think any other film could compare to. The beautiful music score is perfect and it only makes the atmosphere richer. All of this serves as a backdrop to a film that's really about contemporary issues in the 50s. That in itself has been the focus of many films in the last few years, but Far From Heaven stands apart from them all. The screenplay is brilliantly written, infusing rich backgrounds and characterization to all of the characters. In fact, the plot is pretty straight-forward and something you would see in classic films of that era, but now it feels fresh, alive with excitement. It's never depressing, and instead it tells its story until a satisfying conclusion. It's probably one of the best screenplays of its decade.
The performances are also perfect. But Julianne Moore tops off this perfection. I was surprised by how little "big" scenes she has. I would have expected this film to, but then again that's just another surprise. She embodies this character completely, and now that we have all of these flawed and unlikable leads, here we have one who we can easily call a "hero". Someone who others could look up to, we instantly connect with Moore.
Overall, Far From Heaven is the 2nd Haynes film I have seen (the other being I'm Not There), and still his ambition is as apparent as ever. This feels as unique of a film as one could hope for.
- Mar 5, 2012