Oct-Dec 2010 Screenings
Far From Heaven
2002 - Todd Haynes - 107 - U.S.A.
Fri 12 Nov 2004 at 8.30pm
Astor Cinema, Scariff
Midnight Court Rating: 4.0 (2 votes)
Storyline: Set in affluent and reactionary Hartford, Connecticut, in autumn 1957, the film centres on the Whitaker family. Frank, Cathy and their two children are a model unit and fixtures on the snobby social circuit of the town. But cracks appear in Cathy's idyllic life when she discovers Frank kissing a man in his office one night. As she realises that her married life is a sham and that her husband will never want her, she turns to the widowed gardener Raymond. Unable to find an ally more supportive than Raymond, Cathy crosses the line of acceptable fraternisation in Hartford and, in addition to her straying husband, faces the loss of her best friend, her house and her place in society.
Threes are key to understanding Todd Haynes’ cinema. As of this writing, his body of work consists of two movements of threes – three shorts, three features. The two movements overlap each other, the final short, Dottie Gets Spanked (1994), coming in-between Haynes’ first and second features, Poison (1991) and Safe (1995). On the outskirts, in the far past, lie Assassins: A Film Concerning Rimbaud (1985) and Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1987). In the more recent past is Haynes’ glam-rock feature Velvet Goldmine (1998). Six movies in total, with a seventh, Far From Heaven (2002), on the way. It’s a smaller output than most of the great directors, but cinema has never been solely about quantity, and Haynes’ meticulously planned and executed cinema is of such high quality that each film is worth analysis and consideration.
“Nothing short of a masterpiece.” - Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
Winner - Best Actress (Julianna Moore) /Venice Film Festival
Winner - Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography / New York Film Critics Circle
Winner - Best Picture / San Francisco Film Critics Circle
Winner - Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Original Score / Seattle Film Critics
Verdicts from the Midnight Court