Far From Heaven

2003

Far From Heaven

Critics Consensus

An exquisitely designed and performed melodrama, Far From Heaven earns its viewers' tears with sincerity and intelligence.

88%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 219
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Movie Info

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 of revealing her pain and confusion to anyone in her own social circle, she finds unexpected comfort and friendship with her African-American gardener, Raymond Deagan. Cathy's interactions with Raymond; her best friend Eleanor Fine; and her maid, Sybil, reflects the upheaval in her life. Cathy is faced with choices that spur gossip within the community, and change several lives forever.

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Cast

Julianne Moore
as Cathy Whitaker
Dennis Quaid
as Frank Whitaker
Dennis Haysbert
as Raymond Deagan
Patricia Clarkson
as Eleanor Fine
James Rebhorn
as Dr. Bowman
Bette Henritze
as Mrs. Leacock
Ryan Ward
as David
Celia Watson
as Mona Lauder
Jason Franklin
as Photographer
Gregory Marlow
as Reginald Carter
June Squibb
as Elderly Woman
Laurent Giroux
as Man with Moustache
Alex Santoriello
as Spanish Bartender
Matt Malloy
as Red-Faced Man
J.B. Adams
as Farnsworth
Kevin Carrigan
as Soda Jerk
Chance Kelly
as Tallman
Declan Baldwin
as Officer No. 1
Brian Delate
as Officer No. 2
Joe Holt
as Hotel Waiter
Ben Moss
as Hutch's Friend
Susan Willis
as Receptionist
Karl Schroeder
as Conductor
Lance Olds
as Bail Clerk
Nicholas Joy
as Blond Boy
Virl Andrick
as Blond Boy's Father
Jonathan McClain
as Staff Member No. 1
Geraldine Bartlett
as Woman at Party
Ernest Rayford III
as Glaring Man
Betsy Aidem
as Pool Mother
Mary Anna Klindtworth
as Pool Daughter
Ted Neustadt
as Pool Daughter
Thomas Torres
as Band Leader
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Critic Reviews for Far From Heaven

All Critics (219) | Top Critics (55)

  • With a classic storytelling style bordering on corniness, a deft tragicomic touch and a heroic refusal to use the safety net of irony, Haynes has managed to produce something of a gem.

    Jan 2, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid are outstanding as Cathy and Frank Whitaker, a perfect couple with a decidedly imperfect love life.

    Dec 3, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Kate Muir

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • 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.

    Apr 1, 2014
  • 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.

    Apr 1, 2014 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Apr 1, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Quaid makes a decent man's anguish richly palpable. Moore makes us feel hidden frenzy with a cool and ultimately heartbreaking grace.

    Apr 1, 2014 | Full Review…

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