Far From Heaven
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It is the fall of 1957. The Whitakers, the very picture of a suburban family, make their home in Hartford, Connecticut. Their daily existences are characterized by carefully observed family etiquette, social events, and an overall desire to keep up with the Joneses. Cathy Whitaker is the homemaker, wife and mother. Frank Whitaker is the breadwinner, husband and father. Together they have the perfect '50s life: healthy kids and social prominence. Then one night, Cathy discovers her husband's secret life and her tidy, insular world starts spinning out of control. Fearing the consequences… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The actors move about this elaborate movie museum in a modified dream state, as if living in the present while rooted in the past. But the strategy doesn't work. It's an imitation of lifelessness."
‑ Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
"Quaid makes a decent man's anguish richly palpable. Moore makes us feel hidden frenzy with a cool and ultimately heartbreaking grace."
‑ Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine
"Far From Heaven should create a wider audience for Haynes, long considered one of America's leading independent directors."
‑ Steffen Silvis, Willamette Week
"This exquisite evocation of the 1950s tear-jerkers of director Douglas Sirk is gorgeously designed, stunningly photographed, ravishingly scored and beautifully acted."
‑ Alan Jones, Radio Times
"[Haynes'] discomfiting ability to get under the puritanical skin of the US is hampered here by the confines of imitative homage."
‑ Mike Goodridge, Screen International
"We are left wondering why, in any case, an imitation Sirk was needed, what appetite or interest it might fill. Even with its latter-day (modified) frankness, Far From Heaven is only thin glamour that lacks a tacit wry base."
‑ Stanley Kauffmann, The New Republic
"Haynes doesn't simply take a Norman Rockwell setting and release the hounds, either. He deals with these issues directly, but gently, as if his and Sirk's audiences were the same."
‑ Jack Mathews, New York Daily News
"Could Haynes go on making films if the health police were ever to let up? He apparently needs to define himself in opposition to their controlling mindset."
‑ Stuart Klawans, The Nation
"The arthouse Pleasantville, this handsomely crafted facsimile of '50s melodrama is unengaging and redundant, the lacquered artifice erecting a barrier between screen and audience."
‑ , Total Film
"Haynes' most fully realized and commercially succesful feature to date is that rare thing, a meticulous homage to Douglas Sirk as well as a poignant drama in its own right."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"With tact and care, the movie digs into all the subjects that lay concealed below the surface when Max Ophuls and Douglas Sirk were filming their own melodramas in the nineteen-fifties."
‑ Anthony Lane, New Yorker
"Todd Haynes has crafted a feature-length homage to Sirk that succeeds both on its own terms and as the Sirk film that could never have been made in his own lifetime."
‑ Keith Phipps, AV Club
"Moore gives one of the year's great performances -- subtle, lingeringly rich -- in director Todd Haynes's peculiar revisionist homage to old Hollywood women's pictures."
‑ Tom Gliatto, People Magazine
"A takeoff on Douglas Sirk's overwrought, color-saturated 1950s melodramas that rises above its camp roots and converts artifice into art."
‑ Erin Podolsky, Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
"Sensitive, mature melodrama about sexuality in the 1950s."
‑ Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
More reviews for Far From Heaven on Rotten Tomatoes

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