This is not to say that the film works as well on each of these levels, but it does work well enough on all of them. Mona Lauder , the local society editor, is writing a profile about their perfection. At its core, the production has a very important story to tell concerning the ease with which a person can lose their identity within societal expectations. I guess if you'd ever been through that type of situation you might be a bit more forgiving because it is hell and I came from the 50s so trust. Soon Cathy finds comfort in the arms of her Negro handyman played by Harvey Korman. An attractive and prominent white woman being seen in public with a black man in the South at this time would have led to probably horrific repercussions.
Yet, this film really isn't that funny. When Cathy confides in her black gardener the rumours begin that again threaten Cathy's all-American society queen existence. Well-acted, but ultimately disappointing examination of morals in the 1950s, with a prominent married society couple torn apart by his need to cheat on her with men and her friendship with their black gardener. In her confusion and grief, she finds consolation in the friendship of their African-American gardener, Raymond - a socially taboo relationship that leads to the further disintegration of life as she knew it. The film is so straightfaced in its recreation of the genre -- lush, melodramatic music, heightened emotional line readings, etc. No guns, no lynchings, no white sheets - just an insidious degradation of blacks, reducing them to actual invisibility when convenient.
As it goes along, you patiently wait for it to have a point, your interest ebbs and flows, but it is fanciful enough that you stick it out to the end, only to discover that it was not a joke and was never intended be. Though the early scenes of the film take a jokey approach to setting up the 1950s suburban milieu, Haynes has far more on his mind than simply poking fun at the time period. Haynes shows that even if two people are in harmony, it is the outside influences that can rip them apart. Melodrama relies greatly on self-reference, and this one has it in spades Oops! Raymond assures her, that is impossible. And in this way, everything is controlled about the film - reactions, colors, everything.
All the characters was far too simple as were the scenes, dialogue and structure. Also the cinematography is carefully shooting the scene that way. It was indeed beautifully shot and the set dressing was perfection. Most memorable, and decadent, is an image of a vast pool of red wine. Is there some kind of movie-law against showing what is so attractive about two men in lust? Cathy has been 'seen' with a Negro and this means trouble.
Despite its slow pacing, Far From Heaven is a straightforward film that mainstream audiences can enjoy. If you have to see it, take my advice and sit on the end seat so you can leave without waking anyone else up. But as is so often the case, at points the score is unduly intrusive where the actors' words and expressions convey all that is necessary, music being an annoyance. Even they cannot be gathered at the end, they still love each other for sure. The film also deals with the issue of racism, when Cathy becomes a confidante and friend of a young black man who works as her gardener. The movie from start to finish is wonderful.
The effect is oddly jolting: Contemporary movies take so many subjects for granted that they never really look at them. At least in The Hours, things were resolved at the end. It is unfortunate that Ellis does not push the constraints of this narrow role; at times her performance feels like a hollow shell of what it could be. In many ways, Ellis does bring forth a great performance. When Frank meets a young man and falls in love, however, the affair is not ennobled but treated as a matter of motel rooms and furtive meetings.
The Douglas Sirk influence virtually comes out of the screen at every frame in Todd Haynes film. Excellent production designs, lush cinematography and an beautiful music score are the highlight of this film. Cathy's friendship with Raymond, utterly innocent though it is, is the cause of immediate racial hysteria in the community of Hartford, Connecticut. Like so many great composers, he doesn't create music but a character. During troubling scenes, the stage is bathed in rich, blue light.
Acting is great too and storyline is good and interesting however I probably would have enjoyed this movie no matter what the story is if it is made this way. One night Cathy makes the mistake of taking Frank his dinner when he works late, and opens his office door to find him kissing a man. It is a moving and important motion picture, populated with some of the most nuanced acting I have ever seen. Her genuine revulsion at the racist attitudes she sees around her compels her to act in a way true to her own convictions. The lyrics, which deal with the subject of pushy parents, were written by James LaBrie, and are the only lyrics on the album that John Petrucci did not have a hand in writing. These two fine performers turn what might have been just a cold exercise in style into a deeply moving and profoundly meaningful work Technically, the film is a masterpiece on every level, from its art direction to its costume design to its cinematography.
Lovely and beautiful in its own way, it nevertheless comes across for anyone over the age of fifty more as a curiosity than a work of art. Quaid's performance is more intense than Moore's, but is only effective in a handful of scenes, most of which are responsible for changing the direction of the narrative. They live in a perfect split-level house on a perfect street, where the autumn leaves are turning to gold. Raymond, a black man, is much like Cathy, seeing not color, but people. For example, in one scene, Frank swears. Throughout, the film evinces a coolheaded sense of aesthetic control, even after the mother stunningly played by Marta Nieto comes to fully understand how imperiled her son is, before ending on an unnerving note of ambiguity that, unfortunately, is instantly compromised by a cringingly self-pleased credit sequence.