Julianne Moore and Dennis
Quaid star in a modern rendition of an old genre. Far from Heaven touches on
a variety of themes including life during the 50ís, racial intolerance, and
the ideal family. Julianne Moore stars as Cathy a highly conservative,
idealistic mother and lady of a certain prestige in the social network of an
American town. Her willingness to hide the fact that her marriage is falling
apart is shown in what she wears, dresses with vibrant colours will pronounce
a happy feeling and the pastels a contemplative mood. The basic colours:
white show innocence, black when the tapestry of the family is falling apart.
The story behind this film
other than already mentioned is about family and social life during the 50ís.
Cathy and her husband, Frank have what seems like the perfect family, two
children a lovely house and many A-list friends. Soon the family starts
having problems of shocking proportions. Her husband is having difficulty
knowing his sexuality. Rather a distasteful subject but this is a
contemporary take on old cinema. The pressure to conform to the values of the
times seems to fracture the heart of the family and the behaviour starts going
Cathy starts to have an
affair with the gardener who is black. The town becomes busy with rumours and
disdain for Cathy. She seems to have no outlet for her emotions therefore
dresses in ways to express this. Her friends offer their support but even
then, they cannot find understanding for Cathieís attraction to the gardener.
As time goes by the family starts to fall apart and there is conflict between
the two central characters, Cathy and Frank. The ramification of this is Frank
seeking relationship fulfilment in other areas like Cathy is acting out
herself. Will the family stick together? Or fall apart? Watch and youíll find
Many of the editing
techniques and cinematography used in the film is rarely used today in modern
cinema therefore giving the flow a different feel and authenticity. Themes
and issues touched on in the film can still be applicable to current times but
the dated feel of the film will interest people interested in old cinema. The
racial intolerance of the town is done to make them seem ridiculous and sheep
following each other in their views. These times expressed the inability of
independent thinking that is encouraged in current times. Whilst an
interesting concept Far from Heaven is not what you may call invigorating.
The older films had more iconic actors and the vibe is not the same as the
original older films.
Relying on acting,
dialogue and minor special effects (eg. in car view) there is not a great deal
here to set the world ablaze with dazzling performances. The performances do
feel faithful to the times and the acting dictates the feel that we are
watching a film.
The highlight of the DVD
is the special features, which includes a smorgasbord of options, the best
one being the anatomy of a scene, which analyses the film in all categories
such as cinematography, costume design and directing. The actors and makers
of the film show the purpose behind every detail including colours used to
create emotion to the melodramatic performances of the actors.
Overall Far from Heaven is
an ok film but Iíd imagine to fans of old cinema would love. The best part of
these films is that there is no violence or swearing to be heard throughout
the motion picture. A more story accentuated approach is different to modern
cinema but this film has good points only slightly out-weighing the bad
Far from Heaven