The main difference is that Haynes' 50s melodrama is more explicit (perhaps even a little too unsubtle at times) in showcasing the cracks that begin to appear in the highly stylized and artificial world Sirk is known for. Haynes uses the same tools — lightning techniques and color palettes — to shed light on the underbelly of American suburbia. What happens to those who don't fit the mold?
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
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.
Mrs. Moore with a graceful performance; an alluring cinematography; perfection in detail; incredible amount of aesthetics! However, Messrs Quaid & Haysbert can't match Moore because they can't convincingly enough put across the emaotional states of their characters. Mr. Hayes touches the issues of homosexuality & racism & interracial love but too shallow. The drama-effect therefore lacks & emotions come up short.