Far From Heaven

Poster for Far From Heaven

Spring 2003 Main series

Sunday, March 30, 2003 at 4:00pm
Sunday, March 30, 2003 at 7:00pm
Monday, March 31, 2003 at 7:00pm

Empire Theatres, New Minas, NS

Directed by


Rated 14A · 1h 47m

Far From Heaven is a drop-dead gorgeous, absolutely faithful recreation of suburban life in fifties America, a time when father knew best, when wives kept the house pristine, the double-finned Chevrolet adorned the driveway and children addressed their dads as “Sir.” Starring Julianne Moore (The Shipping News, Magnolia) and Dennis Quaid (The Rookie, Frequency), the virtuoso Far From Heaven is the thematic culmination of Todd Haynes’s career, one of the most beautiful, provocative and intelligent films you will see this year. Eisenhower’s America was a contradiction. It projected an image of affluence, well-being and wholesomeness, but behind the manicured lawns and spotless drapes lingered a darker reality. Unhappy husbands and wives turned to illicit affairs or drowned their problems in drink – and kept everything from the kids. Haynes (Velvet Underground) calls upon the conventions of fifties Hollywood melodramas – this was the era of the Rock Hudson and Lana Turner tearjerker – to evoke the period and compel us to think about what was actually going on in those pricey, sheltered bungalows. Frank (Quaid) and Cathy Whitaker (Moore) are a typical married couple, living in a perfect little house in a perfect suburb in Hartford Connecticut. He heads the local branch of the Magnatech television sales company, while she stays home with the kids and cooks like Betty Crocker and looks like Donna Reed. A maid and a gardener (Dennis Haysbert) complete the household. The Whitakers are the toast of the neighbourbood, until one day Frank starts acting somewhat strange. Gossip starts to swirl as Frank begins to covertly “dally” with men in “unseemingly” ways, culminating when Frank gets arrested on a vague drunk and disorderly charge. Cathy, desperate to confide in someone, tries to work her way out of her dilemma by consorting with the gardener. All seems to be restored when Frank’s homosexual tendencies are “cured” by the doctor, but the unexpected keeps cropping up. Moore pinpoints the luminous fragility of this suburban housewife, while Quaid is her perfect foil as the conflicted husband. Haynes keeps the drama unfolding, gradually opening those drapes little by little. This is filmmaking at its most elegant, understated and deeply moving – pure, unadulterated viewing pleasure.

“It is an immaculate tribute and a superbly realized entertainment in its own right.” – Geoff Pevere, The Toronto Star

Far From Heaven is a dazzling conceptual feat, but more than that, it’s a work of enthralling drama … the entire movie is picture perfect.” – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

“It rediscovers the aching, desiring humanity in a genre – and a period – too often subjected to easy parody or ironic appropriation. In a word, it’s divine.” – A.O. Scott, The New York Times

“Haynes makes you drunk on movies again, on raw emotion delivered without the cushion of irony.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone