Archive for the ‘Far From Heaven’ Category

Far From Heaven – review – Film Comment #80

Film Comment – #80 Far From Heaven – Todd Haynes – 2002

I have always admired Todd Haynes as a filmmaker. I think he is daring, original, and an artist thru and thru. His film “Far From Heaven” is also his best.
The film revolves around the perfect family in the 1950’s, or so they seem from the outside. A man with a wife, 2 children, a dog, a picket fence and a lucrative sales job, what more could you ask for. Everything is not what it seems though from the outside. The man of the house has a deep dark secret that soon comes out of the closet, and threatens his perfect way of life. The neighbors soon begin to talk, and also soon begin to talk about his wife’s pandering with the “negro” landscaper. The phobias of that time are fully embraced.

I really like how Haynes embraces the perfectness of the 50’s. He frames shots like they were taken out of Redbook magazine, and the score of the film seems to be plucked right out of “Leave it to Beaver”. He has this overly bright, almost gaudy sets that add to the surrealness of the film. This is at the beginning of the film, before it takes a deep darkened twist.

Haynes doesn’t just attempt to shock the viewer, he attempts to do that, but also have you sympathize with someone who wants to live an alternative lifestyle. This is a hard thing to do in today’s society, let alone the society of the 1950’s. I felt it was one of the best films of 2002, and it holds up almost a decade later as well

Grade: A