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Far From Heaven

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I caught this one along with rabbit-proof fence yesterday (I try to make the 40 minutes drives worth it) and, while I don't get the best picture buzz it's getting, it was very good. It's a throwback to old 50's melodramas (critics say it's an homage to "douglas sirk"... I'll take their word for it...). People walk around all day with fake smiles and fake opinions while under all of it is fear and hate. The story is about the life of a rich housewife (Julianne Moore), and generally deals with racism and homophobia. As melodramatic and boring as the description seems, it keeps a really good lighthearted mood for most of the movie, and just gets really serious towards the end.


It goes without saying that the movie is well made. Julianne Moore gives a great performance, she carries the whole movie. You can actually tell the difference between the fake smile she usually has just to be polite at large social gatherings and the fake smile she puts on when hiding all sorts of pain. It looks great too, awesome use of color, and it's generaly just a good looking decade, you know?


So, while I liked it a lot, I wasn't as nuts about it as the critics seem to be. I've sort of dismissed racism as a boring subject recently. I've seen few people other than Spike Lee to handle it in a realistic way that really makes me care. I've seen this sort of racism before and I get it, racism's bad, it's dumb, pointless. It sort of treats it like "monster's ball" did, making the point that it's unfair that arbitrary barriers be put on love, but I don't think it was as effective. That said, it is a perfect capsule of the time it's set in. It's a better representation of the issues of the period than the movies made in that decade because it has none of the restrictions that those movies did. This one can talk about whatever issues it wants freely. This movie is one of the more sutble ones. You're not gonna walk out of the theater in tears, but when you think about it, it was really damned good.

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  • 2 months later...

I saw this one on my flight back form Paris. Very nice, good preformance, good characters, good story, got soem point across about intolerance in the 50s without being painfully preachy. All the titles and music were done in a very fifties movie style that added to the feel. Two thumbs up.

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