Todd Haynes’ homage to Douglas Sirk’s style of social critique by way of melodrama masterfully tells the story of a well-to-do suburban Connecticut couple in the 1950s, straitjacketed by convention, desperate to live the lives they really want.
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Much more than an homage to Sirk, Todd Haynes' meticulously crafted film takes us much further, to places where mid-century Hollywood films weren't permitted to go. Julianne Moore's performance is also much richer than the single-faceted form of acting that was prevalent in those days. Haynes is a formidable creative force; looking at his entire body of work going back to The Karen Carpenter Story, his dramas have a
The attention to detail in this revisionist homage to Douglas Sirk is truly incredible. It's a capital D drama wrapped up in Todd Haynes' favorite themes—mainly alienation and disruptions to the status quo. Notice how Haynes uses the technology of cinema to convey emotion in ways a book could not, like the shifting color palettes, camera filters and shots that linger to the point of awkwardness.
This movie had some of my favorite elements - period setting, social commentary, queerness, and Julianne Moore - so it was hard to resist. Some of the dialogue, especially the son's, didn't work, but the dual tabus of the couple's sexual desires make for some compelling drama.
Cathy was born to suffer, and what bothered me the most was her incapacity to fall apart through all the drama surround her - oh, the perfect wife cliché. Stunning usage of color and a classic set design bring back the 1950s with a feeling that even by the changing of the seasons, prejudice is still present nowadays.
The melodrama is here, present, but it's very true. The production design is incredible. I loved the performances; they are real but capture the aestetics of an homage. The music is very good and similar to the genre. Of everything, the editing is probably the weakest. It's the one element I feel did not manage to capture the style of the 50s melodrama.
The queering of Sirk! Great homage: Technically rigorous; at times cinematically exhilarating... And nearly - but not entirely - as engaging as the real thing. There's that Moore's Cathy is notably ditzier than Wyman's Cary... But more than that, there's a distancing meta-artifice that comes with imitating 50s melodrama; imitations of imitations of life - w/out the corresponding extra depth. A+ exercise, B- film. 3.5
Far From Heaven proves that the melodrama subgenre is dead by choice, not by lack of talent to make it. Every scene in Haynes' film explodes with cynicism, irresistible tension and utter disillusionment, a product of a crafted lens with attention to detail and extreme sensitivity to human emotion. The film soars with social commentary, understanding of the era and, of course, fantastic performances.