FAR  FROM   HEAVEN     - A  Narada   Film Review

  DENNIS HAYSBERT  as    
  Raymond Degan
   
   JULIANNE MOORE   as    
   Cathy Whitaker
   
   DENNIS QUAID   as    
   Frank Whitaker
Far From Heaven -  2002   - Todd Haynes -Director   &   Vachon/Patton-Producer

   Viewed on 10 May 03  A story of small-town 1950's Americana, FAR FROM HEAVEN can only be described as Leave It To Beaver gone horribly wrong.   The happiest imaginable home, at least from the viewpoint of an absurdly stereotyped "uncomplicated housewife", begins to unravel - slowly at first, then avalanches into a litany of mid-20th Century 'no-no's'.  
       The first half hour of FAR FROM HEAVEN is profoundly stultifying - absolutely nothing happens except Dad goes to work, kids do homework and Mom bakes cookies.   How this 30 minutes of irrelevance escaped the editors' scissors shall remain beyond credulity for the remainder of civilized times.   But if we refrain from walking out, we see this Eisenhower-Era time capsule has kids that are typically neglected, the father, Frank (Dennis Quaid) is a closet homosexual and the Mom, Cathy (Julianne Moore) actually talks to her 'colored' gardener Raymond (Dennis Hayburt), thereby raising disapproving eyebrows all over town.
        If one didn't know better, one might suspect Director Todd Haynes of tongue-in-cheek sarcasm in his handling of '50's homosexuality and racial conflict.   But fortunately one does know better; for example, when on the subject of homosexuality, massive use of violin music is employed to show sincerity.   When dealing with the 'race' issue, equal lip-service is shovelled out in the form of excessive references to NAACP and "equal time" given to blacks harboring prejudices (......like, ...who knew?).
        FAR FROM HEAVEN is quite obviously a Hollywood euphemism for "close to Hell" ; its one redeeming feature was seeing the studio's immaculate collection of vintage cars.   But, with all due respect to Producers Christine Vachon and Jody Patton , the point of this movie was... what, again?
       LEAST Enduring Line or Phrase:  "Janice, could you please pass the butter."

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