Maverick director Todd Haynes embraces the look and feel of classic Hollywood melodramas of the 1950s in this period drama. Cathy Whitaker (Julianne Moore) and her husband, Frank (Dennis Quaid), are a seemingly perfect couple; living in a handsome suburban neighborhood in Hartford, CT, in 1957, Cathy and Frank have a beautiful home and two happy, healthy children, while Frank pursues a successful career in sales and Cathy cares for the home. But Cathy has begun to sense something isn't quite right in her marriage, as Frank begins working late, spending less time with her, and seems cold and distant. One day, Cathy visits Frank's work and discovers something she never expected -- her husband is kissing a man. At Cathy's urging, Frank undergoes psychotherapy, but as she tries to keep up a brave face, the emotional trauma takes a great toll on her, and she finds there are very few people she can talk with. Cathy strikes up a friendship with Raymond Deagan (Dennis Haysbert), an African-American gardener who works for the Whitakers, and as she discovers how intelligent and compassionate Raymond is, she finds herself drawn to him. However, Hartford is in many ways still a small town, and when Mona (Celia Weston) sees Cathy and Raymond alone together, it sets off a wave of vicious gossip that threatens to make the Whitakers' many secrets public knowledge. Far From Heaven premiered at the 2002 Venice Film Festival, where Julianne Moore's performance won the prize for Best Actress.
A Filmmaker's Experience with Julianne Moore and Todd Haynes