Far From Heaven (2002) is an historical drama set in late 50s Hartford, with a quintessential all-American couple (Dennis Quaid as a corporate-guy dad and Julianne Moore as a suburban housewife) who are forced to confront two social issues before their time – homosexuality and racial integration.
I love the early 60s TV show “Mad Men,” and this movie has the same feel, but the similarity ends there. The characters in “Mad Men” have depth and nuance, while the characters here are shallow and simple. Ostensibly, everyone in Hartford is an intolerant bigot except for the enlightened Moore and her black gardener, Dennis Haysbert. And we are supposed to believe they have some chemistry, even a soul mate connection, but that never comes across on the screen. Despite this failing, Moore received an Oscar nomination. Huh?
Incredibly, the Rotten Tomato critics loved the movie at 87% and the audience was almost as favorable at 79%. Not even close, for me. I give it only one and a half stars out of four.