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.