Last week in my Screen Analysis lecture, we watched a little movie called Far From Heaven. Directed by Todd Hayes, Far From Heaven is a contemporary film which is set in a suburban neighbourhood of Hartford, Connecticut in 1957, and shot in the classical hollywood style which was prominent in that very same era. Cathy and Frank Whitaker (Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid) and their two children have a seemingly perfect upper-middle class existence, but behind closed doors all is not well in their marriage and the cracks are beginning to show.
Far From Heaven does more than give us a glimpse into the life of this middle class family and their troubles - it deals with prominent social problems of the time including racism and homophobia in a very real and thought-provoking way, and the open ending lends itself well to reflection on where the story might go next as well as the issues the movie has dealt with. It is a stunning visual representation of the 1950's and a movie well worth watching.
The painstaking reproduction of 1950's life is absolutely stunning, with perfect mid century interiors and clothes hand made by the costume department to fit (and hide) Julianne's growing baby bump throughout filming. Commentary by the head of costume design for the movie says that Julianne's growing form lent itself well to the more curvy 1950's look which many of the modern actresses are too thin to pull off.
I loved this film. That goes without saying! The storyline, the social commentary and the mid century style are right up my alley and I would recommend this movie to anyone who loves a bit of vintage and an interesting, thought provoking storyline. What a gem!
You can find my Mid Century Madness pin board here, or check back in a few days for some mid century inspired fashion and furnishing wish lists.