In 1950s Connecticut, a housewife faces a marital crisis and mounting racial tensions in the outside world.
Todd Haynes ("Safe," "Velvet Goldmine") has both updated the now-classic Douglas Sirk melodramas of the 1950's and paid ardent, intelligent homage to their lush, subversive spirit. Julianne Moore plays Cathy Whitaker, a Hartford housewife whose leafy domestic idyll is shattered by her husband's homosexuality and her own illicit friendship with a black landscaper (Dennis Haysbert). The cast, which also includes Dennis Quaid as Cathy's unhappy husband and Patricia Clarkson as her poisonously compassionate best friend, is uniformly superb. The movie transcends irony or caricature, and reminds us how humane and how artful melodrama can be. — A. O. Scott
2002-11-08 | A. O. Scott | Read the New York Times Review of Far From Heaven