Far From Heaven - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Far From Heaven Reviews

Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
April 1, 2014
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.
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Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
April 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.
Top Critic
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
April 1, 2014
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.
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Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
April 1, 2014
Quaid makes a decent man's anguish richly palpable. Moore makes us feel hidden frenzy with a cool and ultimately heartbreaking grace.
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
April 1, 2014
Haynes doesn't simply take a Norman Rockwell setting and release the hounds, either. He deals with these issues directly, but gently, as if his and Sirk's audiences were the same.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Keith Phipps
AV Club
April 1, 2014
Todd Haynes has crafted a feature-length homage to Sirk that succeeds both on its own terms and as the Sirk film that could never have been made in his own lifetime.
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
April 1, 2014
Haynes' loving homage to the Technicolor female-driven melodramas of the 1950s looks and feels so authentic, it will make you forget you are watching a new movie.
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David Rooney
Variety
February 11, 2008
An accomplished marriage of elaborate style and content.
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David Ansen
Newsweek
November 1, 2007
It may be a movie about movies, but the artifice doesn't contradict the movie's plangent emotional realism. Moore's stunning, subtle performance as a woman trapped in the conventions of her time encapsulates the film's brave, double-edged beauty.
Top Critic
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
January 26, 2006
Exultant in both its artifice and its cruel honesty, it's a movie Sirk would make today - and, as such, it's quite brilliant.
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Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
May 19, 2004
Haynes is interested in exploring deeper issues than a little country-club gossip. And he makes sure that the pretty pictures don't lead us to forget that.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
January 16, 2003
Achieves the same sentimentality as the Sirk films, and in much the same way.
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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
November 29, 2002
Though less obviously a tour de force than many flashier recent art films, such as Alexander Sokurov's one-take feature Russian Ark, it's no less impressive as a technical achievement.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
November 22, 2002
Well worth seeing for its visual approximation of the Douglas Sirk-Ross Hunter 'women's pictures' of the 50's.
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
November 22, 2002
Deftly navigates the line between high art and mainstream entertainment.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
November 22, 2002
Well-written, nicely acted and beautifully shot and scored, the film works on several levels, openly questioning social mores while ensnaring the audience with its emotional pull.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Susan Stark
Detroit News
November 22, 2002
Stylish, affectionate and acutely knowing.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
November 22, 2002
Haynes' greatest accomplishment, beyond his impeccable craftsmanship and his connection with his actors, is in the way he respects the facade while tearing it away.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
November 21, 2002
Sirk would be proud.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
November 15, 2002
A ravishingly beautiful film.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
November 15, 2002
If it's ultimately a failure -- and I think it is -- it's still worth seeing, because it's the most ambitious and magnificent failure in recent memory.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Steven Rosen
Denver Post
November 15, 2002
It's a film that's loving toward all concerned, even when they cause each other pain. And it is overwhelmingly, refreshingly sincere even while being revisionist.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
November 15, 2002
What Moore does on-screen here is absolutely beguiling.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
November 15, 2002
A richly imagined and admirably mature work from a gifted director who definitely has something on his mind.
| Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
November 15, 2002
The very pleasing result: a movie that goes without hesitation for the major-chord emotions. A movie that needs hankies.
Top Critic
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
November 15, 2002
The movie has the sense of being embalmed, or pickled.
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
November 15, 2002
Because the film deliberately lacks irony, it has a genuine dramatic impact; it plays like a powerful 1957 drama we've somehow never seen before.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
November 14, 2002
Hits your heart, tickles your head and gives a little extra bonus to those of us who salivate over cinematography and set design.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
November 14, 2002
The deep, dark sadness of Haynes' movie casts a beautiful, powerful spell.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
November 14, 2002
This imitation of life comes tantalizingly close to greatness, then settles for being smart without much heart.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
November 14, 2002
There's an incongruous but ravishing beauty in Far From Heaven, and in its three excellent central performances, that counteracts the seeming kitschiness of the story.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
November 14, 2002
By surrounding us with hyper-artificiality, Haynes makes us see familiar issues, like racism and homophobia, in a fresh way.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
November 11, 2002
This film is a triumph of art direction and acting, with Moore, Quaid and Haysbert giving performances that feel authentic to the time even as they explore subjects and feelings that were at best implied in movies of that period.
Top Critic
November 9, 2002
It's so intimate, accessible, and passionate that it makes every other current movie seem anemic. It makes even Sirk seem anemic.
Top Critic
Mike Clark
USA Today
November 8, 2002
Moore's performance impresses almost as much as her work with Haynes in 1995's Safe.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
John Anderson
Newsday
November 8, 2002
Its core is a nugget of emotional truth and longing that's irresistible, and inextricably tied to a power so purely cinematic you wonder why so many other directors even bother.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
November 8, 2002
Moore, who has a particular genius for communicating compassionate, if not fully conscious characters, makes the pathos believable.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
November 8, 2002
Perhaps the year's most daring and fully realized movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
November 8, 2002
A movie for hardcore film geeks and regular folk alike, a stunning, and stunningly improbable, fusion of postmodern pastiche and old-school Hollywood melodrama.
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
November 7, 2002
It rediscovers the aching, desiring humanity in a genre -- and a period -- too often subjected to easy parody or ironic appropriation. In a word, it's divine.
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
Los Angeles Times
November 7, 2002
The film's three leads are extraordinary, but what Moore does with her role is so beyond the parameters of what we call great acting that it nearly defies categorization.
Top Critic
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
November 7, 2002
Haynes' movie, a sumptuously autumnal tale of grand passion brewed in a suffocating climate of repression and desire, is also an unabashedly loving, slyly subversive homage to the maternal melodramas of that era.
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
November 6, 2002
Every element in Far From Heaven harmonizes, in the kind of colossal achievement that revives my faith in movies and keeps me coming back for more.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
November 6, 2002
A powerful and telling story that examines forbidden love, racial tension, and other issues that are as valid today as they were in the 1950s.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
November 5, 2002
Without resorting to camp or parody, Haynes (like Sirk, but differently) has transformed the rhetoric of Hollywood melodrama into something provocative, rich, and strange.
Top Critic
Mike D'Angelo
Time Out
November 4, 2002
Visually ravishing, subtly provocative, both entertainment and dissertation.
| Original Score: 67/100
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
October 31, 2002
Far From Heaven is a dazzling conceptual feat, but more than that, it's a work of enthralling drama.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
October 25, 2002
Haynes makes you drunk on movies again, on raw emotion delivered without the cushion of irony.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
September 30, 2002
Pulls you in on the strength of its pathos while delighting you with the retrofit boldness of its technique and conventions.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
September 5, 2002
Despite the terrific look and perfectly pitched performances by leads Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid and Dennis Haysbert, there's a camp undercurrent that keeps interfering with any real dramatic impact.