Far From Heaven

Review: A+

Julianne Moore has always rep­re­sent­ed some­thing pecu­liar to me– an actress who get all the best roles, but rarely con­vinces me that she’s wor­thy of that right. Case in point: Her accent in the Big Lebows­ki was down­right irri­tat­ing, have you seen the Ship­ping News(?), and the deal was sealed when she stepped into Jodie Foster’s shoes in Han­ni­bal.

Yet peo­ple run around say­ing that she should be a nom­i­nat­ed for 4 best-actress oscars every year.

Well, let me tem­per my anger, because I’ve just watched Todd Haynes’ mas­ter­ful­ly writ­ten and direct­ed Far From Heav­en, star­ring Moore and Den­nis Quaid.

This film is a study in 1950s real­ism and atri­fice, from the open­ing cred­its and music score, to the hid­den worlds of gen­der roles, sex­u­al­i­ty and race. If you want to know the basic sto­ry, you can read Wes­ley Mor­ris’ Globe review here.

I agree with Mor­ris’ asser­tion that Moore is absolute­ly incred­i­ble– warm, deter­mined, and nat­ur­al, in a way I’ve nev­er seen before. And the film, despite its set­ting and time peri­od, is a gen­uine and sym­pa­thet­ic sto­ry, treat­ed untyp­i­cal­ly with­out much irony. Haynes seems hell bent on re-recon­struct­ing the 50s nar­ra­tive in this tone, while includ­ing those nasty lit­tle issues that have always been either swept under the rug, or lam­bast­ed as vir­u­lent­ly as the Tal­iban.

One thing that struck me as odd, while watch­ing Far From Heav­en, was that the Den­nis Quaid char­ac­ter was giv­en lit­tle of the sym­pa­thet­ic ener­gy. What does it say that the gay Haynes has lit­tle to say about a clos­et­ted homo­sex­u­al mas­querad­ing as a het­ero Orga­ni­za­tion Man?

The crux of the sto­ry lies with Moore, and my two cents are that Julianne has earned her­self a tru­ly deserv­ing oscar nom­i­na­tion.

2 Responses to “Far From Heaven”


  • you didn’t like her in boo­gie nights?

  • You think she’s real­ly good?

    I did like her in boo­gie nights, and the movie as a whole, but she wasn’t any­thing impres­sive. That movie was all about the direc­tion, marky mark & burt reynolds… not to men­tion swollen gen­i­talia.

    I think my point is, she always seemed like a soap opera actress to me… in fact, I used to think Kel­ly Ripa was more tal­ent­ed…

    that’s why I won­dered how Julianne got all those great roles…

    But, nev­er­mind… if you haven’t seen “heav­en”, do so.

    I want to see HARRY POTTER now.

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