Far from Heaven

2002

Drama

8
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 87%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 79%
IMDb Rating 7.4 10 40264

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
Downloaded 12,928 times
October 12, 2018 at 11:55 AM

Director

Cast

Julianne Moore as Cathy Whitaker
Viola Davis as Sybil
Dennis Quaid as Frank Whitaker
Patricia Clarkson as Eleanor Fine
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
900.47 MB
1280*694
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
1hr 47 min
P/S 16 / 61
1.7 GB
1920*1040
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
1hr 47 min
P/S 21 / 60

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by GodsLionesse 10 / 10

Very Close to Heaven

Todd Haynes' Far From Heaven, a homage to the 1950s melodramas of Douglas Sirk, is an exquisitely crafted film of beauty and grace. The world that Haynes creates is so meticulously detailed that one almost forgets that the movie isn't fifty years old.

Julianne Moore deserves an Academy Award for her portrayal of Cathy Whitaker, a homemaker whose idyllic life begins to disintegrate when she learns that her husband is gay. Moore's Cathy is a delicate woman who would like to be courageous, but can't be because of the world that she is trapped in. As her innocence begins to die, she realizes how empty and superficial her life is. When she begins a cautious romance with her black gardener (Dennis Haysbert) she begins to see the racism and hypocrisy that forms the underbelly of a seemingly perfect world. At the end of the film Cathy has no illusions, and realizes that the life that she thought was perfect is actually a never-ending hell.

Dennis Quaid is equally stunning as Cathy's tortured husband Frank. After Cathy discovers his homosexuality, the two are forced to grapple with a truth that neither of them can comprehend. Frank goes to a doctor for "treatment," and his confession is heartbreaking. He says that he "can't let this thing, this sickness, destroy my life. I'm going to beat this thing." We look at Frank and pity him because we realize that such a feat is impossible, and unnecessary, but Frank does not possess that knowledge. Frank begins to drink more, and when he finally breaks down and tells Cathy that he has fallen in love with another man, all of the anger, shame, and joy comes pouring out of him all at once. It is a supremely moving moment, and the best performance of Quaid has ever given.

As the marriage between Cathy and Frank begins to unravel, the two also begin to fight. All of Cathy and Frank's arguments and confessions take place at night, bathed in shadows. The truth has no place in this bright, artificial world, and it must stay hidden at all costs. One night, when Frank tries to make love to Cathy and can't, Cathy tries to placate him, saying that he is "all man" to her. At that remark Frank hits her, and for a moment the audience does not breathe. Cathy then asks quietly for her husband to get her some ice. Cathy is all restraints, and it is only with her kind gardener that she has a chance to break free. The scenes between Moore and Haysbert crackle with erotic energy because everything remains unsaid. When Cathy finally asks him to dance with her, it is a moment when we realize what human beings are capable of being together.

The fourth example of stellar acting comes from Patricia Clarkson as Cathy's best friend Eleanor. Eleanor is a bitter, gossipy, cold-hearted woman, and when she tells Cathy "I am your best friend," you want to scream to Cathy not to believe her. Clarkson makes the most of her rather limited screen time, and turns in a fascinatingly layered performance.

Far From Heaven may very well be the best picture of the year. In creating an artificial world, Todd Haynes has managed to lay bare the human soul in a way that has never been done before. It is a moving and important motion picture, populated with some of the most nuanced acting I have ever seen. Cathy and Frank Whitiker may be far from heaven, but the film comes about as close to heaven as is possible.

Reviewed by nycritic 10 / 10

Underneath the Facade of Complacency

Had it been released in the year it's set in -- 1957 -- FAR FROM HEAVEN would have broken grounds on several different levels because it brings to light what stories then only hinted at. Todd Haynes, channeling Douglas Sirk inch by inch, goes one step further and comes up with a masterpiece of domestic melodrama.

This is the story of three people caught in unfortunate circumstances. The Whitakers, Cathy and Frank (Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid), are the Perfect Couple, married and living under the conservative spotlight of Suburbia, known more as Mr. and Mrs. Magnatech, successful -- the couple who have everything going for them. Of course, with the slight detail that Mr. Whitaker is gay and about to come out.

Coming into the picture at the time the local society writer (Celia Weston) comes to interview Cathy about their idealistic marriage life, Raymond Deagan (Dennis Haysbert) enters the picture. A quiet man who happens to be black in a time when being black meant being segregated, Cathy expresses kindness to him, and the writer jots down 'friend to Negros' which comes to mark Cathy later on.

Frank's double life is the catalyst which will bring Cathy and Raymond together. When Cathy, in her manicured, wifely way, comes to bring Frank his dinner at work, she walks in to seeing him kissing another man (Matt Malloy). Clearly, something is wrong in this picture... and gets progressively so when Frank decides to beat his illness, while still going to sordid bars with equally ashamed men who hang out with the spectre of fear just out of frame, as if one of the many bar raids would befall them at any moment.

Once Frank is out of the picture Cathy turns to Raymond for solace. Friends begin talking, mainly through the correctly named Eleanor Fine (a chilling Patricia Clarkson) who doesn't know how to react to this friendship, while we know she is probably spinning stories behind Cathy's back. It is here when the morals of the time come into play. We are, in fact, reminded that this is the late fifties at every turn. Cathy has been 'seen' with a Negro and this means trouble. Frank, even though he already has a boyfriend, can't stand her friendship. Raymond's daughter gets assaulted by a couple of boys coming home from school. Doors are closing all around Cathy, but there is the hope she may leave with him to Baltimore. Raymond assures her, that is impossible.

The Douglas Sirk influence virtually comes out of the screen at every frame in Todd Haynes film. From the saturated color and excellent cinematography, set decoration, to the almost exact acting from all the leads and supporting actors and its pessimistic/happy ending. Where many movies fail through anachronisms, an almost perfect attention to detail has been taken to make this movie as authentic as possible -- down to the cinematic language and its characters, who are enclosed in its time period. For example, in one scene, Frank swears... but then apologizes, because it is impolite to do so. His gayness even as the film reaches its conclusion remains closeted, within its shame, as he secretly meets with his boyfriend. No happy ending for him here. Neither for Cathy and Raymond, whose acquaintance is vibrant with tension even though they barely exchange a shy kiss and are destined to remain apart. It reminded me a little of IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE (2000), another film enclosed in its time period with the two romantic leads knowing their chances of a relationship is nil due to tradition. Here it's man's bigotry to himself.

Reviewed by moviemanMA 9 / 10

The way we were

A man and his wife enter the office of a man who could possibly save the man from a life threatening illness. THe process includes many visits with a psychiatrist and possibly some electro-shock therapy. No, this person does not have schizophrenia or multiple personality disorder. This man is a homosexual.

Yes, it is true, this man is considered "sick" but that is just one of the many skewed attitudes of the 1950's that director Todd Haynes brings to light in Far From Heaven. Julianne Moore plays Cathy Whitaker, the wife of Frank Whitaker, Dennis Quaid, who are the proud parents of two children. The live the life that people envied. A nice home, money, success, and happiness. All of that comes crashing down when Cathy discovers her husband is not who he really is.

Cathy goes to Frank's work to drop off some dinner only to discover that her husband is in the arms of another man. Frank says that he is "sick" and wants treatment. Cathy, the "super wife" is behind him 100 percent, as if he really had an illness to beat. Frnak is ashamed and doesn't want support, just some privacy while he goes through session after session of therapy to try and make him "normal".

To add to this difficulty, the family gardener passes away and his son Raymond, Dennis Haysbert, takes over. Cathy comes to confide in Raymond and find peace of mind in his attitude and his overall good nature. The neighborhood looks down on their friendship and casts a shadow on the household. Raymond, a black man, is much like Cathy, seeing not color, but people. Even in New Haven, Connecticut, the feeling of white superiority still runs through the veins of its inhabitants.

The movie from start to finish is wonderful. It is a roller-coaster of emotions. Moore, Quaid, and Haysbert give fantastic performances. Even Patricia Clarkson, who plays Cathy one true friend in the neighborhood gives a delightful performance.

It's not just the acting that gives this movie it's lift off of the ground. Haynes direction and the art direction of the film create a pallet of colors and emotions that set the mood for each seen. The film opens in autumn. The leaves are shades of red, yellow, and orange, a true autumnal foliage like you would see on a Vermont postcard. The clothing is a perfect time capsule of the 50's. Haynes also uses a lot of colored lights to directly influence the mood of a scene. The green neon light of the gay bar Frank enters gives a strange feel like an alien world. The blue light that comes in through the windows in his office at night and in their home after a party means something dramatic is taking place.

Elmer Bernstein has racked up 14 nominations for his music, including a win for Throughly Modern Millie. His score for this film is the current that pushes the story along. Like so many great composers, he doesn't create music but a character. Everything is different with the right score to back up a great story.A story and a script that Haynes wrote so beautifully. He captured the lingo that kids used in the 50's and gave us a look at how kind people can be and how despicable some are.

The issues that Haynes tackles in the film are still around today, just not taken so seriously. It is hard to think that only 50 years ago, homosexuals were looked at as sick people and the African-American community was still not welcome. To this day there are still hints of this feeling around the country, but most is left to be talked about in the privacy of our own homes.

Whether or not you are straight or gay, black or white, democrat or republican, we all are people. Haynes shows that even if two people are in harmony, it is the outside influences that can rip them apart. Hatred and tolerance cannot coexist.

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