Far From Heaven

Director Todd Haynes (Velvet Goldmine, Safe) makes an art film posing as a 1950s Technicolor melodrama. Julianne Moore, the only actress who is, in fact, naturally Technicolored, stars as housewife Cathy Whitaker, who is so mannered and uptight that you’d think she was a Barbie doll that somehow became a real girl. Strangely, everyone in the Hartford, Conn. suburb where she lives has the exact same manners. The one thing they try not to have are feelings, so it’s quite a strain on her marriage when her husband comes down with actual human emotions. More terrible, these emotions are directed at other men, and they’re not violent or competitive emotions: they’re loving emotions, the worst kind of all. How will the Technicolor world survive this? And why is Cathy talking to a Negro man? These questions and more are answered in the most accurate remake of a Douglas Sirk film ever attempted. If you want to see film raised to the level of renaissance painting, you should definitely check out Far From Heaven. With any luck it might turn out to be the weirdest movie ever to get nominated for an Oscar.

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