"Far From Heaven" Is Released

Far from Heaven is a 2002 drama film written and directed by Todd Haynes and starring Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid, Dennis Haysbert, and Patricia Clarkson.

The film tells the story of Cathy Whitaker, a 1950s housewife, living in suburban Hartford as she sees her seemingly perfect life begin to fall apart. It is done in the style of a 1950s, Douglas Sirk film (especially All That Heaven Allows and Imitation of Life), dealing with complex contemporary issues such as race, sexuality and class.

The film was nominated for several Academy Awards: for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Julianne Moore), Best Original Screenplay (Todd Haynes), Best Cinematography (Edward Lachman), and Best Original Score (Elmer Bernstein).

Todd Haynes ("Safe," "Velvet Goldmine") has both updated the now-classic Douglas Sirk melodramas of the 1950's and paid ardent, intelligent homage to their lush, subversive spirit. Julianne Moore plays Cathy Whitaker, a Hartford housewife whose leafy domestic idyll is shattered by her husband's homosexuality and her own illicit friendship with a black landscaper (Dennis Haysbert). The cast, which also includes Dennis Quaid as Cathy's unhappy husband and Patricia Clarkson as her poisonously compassionate best friend, is uniformly superb. The movie transcends irony or caricature, and reminds us how humane and how artful melodrama can be. — A. O. Scott, The New York Times