"Far From Reality"
What You Need To Know:
Writer and director Todd Haynes unfolds this politically correct, liberal storyline in the packaging of a classic melodrama, hoping to draw in viewers by the film’s aesthetic qualities and lure them into a deeper agreement with his anti-Christian, Romantic worldview. Adultery and homosexuality are seen as taboos inflicted by a conservative society, not moral absolutes commanded by a loving God. Unless you like eating propaganda for dinner, avoid this movie altogether.
(RoRoRo, PCPCPC, HoHoHo, L, V, SS, N, AA, D, MM) Very strong Romantic worldview featuring very strong politically correct, homosexual elements as wife desires to enter into an adulterous affair and husband wants to leave wife and family to have a homosexual relationship because it feels right and these individuals know better than their society which disproves their decisions and modern politically-correct ideals are inserted into the lifestyles of America in the fifties; one strong obscenity and three profanities; brief violence when husband slaps wife and girl is hit by a rock thrown by young boys; adultery, women discuss their sex lives, two men kiss, husband goes to a homosexual bar, and implied sex between two men; upper male nudity when men are swimming at a pool; alcohol poured into coffee to conceal it, alcoholic drinks at party, and husband gets drunk; husband and co-workers smoke; and, lying and bigotry but only bigotry is rebuked.
FAR FROM HEAVEN stars Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid as Frank and Cathy Whitaker, a happily married couple living in suburban Hartford, Connecticut in the 1950s. Things are not as they would appear, however. As Frank deals with the pressures of his job, he reveals to his devoted wife that he is struggling with homosexuality. This is not a first-time occurrence, as he dealt with this prior to their marriage. Frank seeks medical assistance (shock treatment) to cure him of this disease, and Cathy dutifully encourages him.
Yet, their relationship has deeper problems, as they hardly communicate and struggle to show affection for each other. So, Frank keeps working hard while Cathy remains devoted and raises their two young children. In the midst of her domestic duties, Cathy is very active in the community and is part of the elite social circle of Hartford. Due to the societal disapproval over anything abnormal, such as homosexuality or integration, Cathy must keep her problems to herself, not even sharing with her best friend Eleanor (Patricia Clarkson).
As Frank continues to seek therapy, Cathy develops a friendship with their gardener Raymond (Dennis Haysbert), who happens to be black. One day, Raymond sees Cathy crying and tries to console her by inviting her along for a ride to the country. After an initial refusal, Cathy decides to go along for the company. As they talk, Raymond and Cathy seem to have a bond despite their outward differences. In her curiosity, Cathy questions Raymond as to what it is like “being the only one.” To answer her question, Raymond offers to take Cathy to his favorite restaurants, which apparently are not used to any white patrons, especially a white woman accompanying a black man. Raymond and Cathy feel so comfortable with each other that she asks him to ask her to dance, which he obliges.
When an acquaintance of Cathy sees the two enter the restaurant, the rumors begin to fly around town and word gets back to Frank. Outraged, drunk and stressed out, Frank confronts Cathy about the rumors, and she vehemently denies them. It is obvious that she cares for Raymond, yet she tells him that they cannot be friends. Frank and Cathy decide to take a romantic New Year’s trip to help rejuvenate their relationship. While it appears great to Cathy, Frank ends up meeting a young man at their hotel, and it is implied that he is not over his homosexual tendencies.
Shortly thereafter, Frank confesses to Cathy that he has fallen in love with someone – the man he met on their trip. He states that he has never felt love like this before, which is a slap in the face to his wife of eight years. Frank wants a divorce and moves out of the house, leaving behind Cathy and their two children. Cathy turns to Raymond, in hopes of a possible relationship, but he has to leave town for the sake of his young daughter, due to threats on their safety because his previous friendship with Cathy. Finally, Cathy is left alone with her two children to live a life that, in the ideals of the filmmaker, would have been perfect if she could have been able to have a relationship with the man she really loved, the gardener.
FAR FROM HEAVEN is a movie that tries to force-feed its propaganda of politically correct views of homosexuality, adultery and race. The traditional values of the 1950s are subtly, yet effectively, mocked by the narrow-minded portrayal of the community. These issues are sugar coated to make you sympathetic to the characters’ plights, yet the movie refrains from illustrating the ramifications of the decisions made. No discussion is made on the effect of the parents’ acts on the children, Frank’s life after leaving everything for a man half his age and the reality of Cathy’s life after the divorce with two children to raise. If anything, this movie should illustrate the devastation brought by on the character’s actions, not their liberation from the conservative ideals of the time.
Director/writer Todd Haynes was inspired by the work of classic filmmakers, such as Douglas Sirk and John Stahl, which is why he emphasized re-creating the style of the 1950s from the cars and buildings to women’s dress. However, the premise of the movie is completely contradictory to the Bible and is dangerous because of its presentation. Haynes sums up his intent with this movie by stating, “The strongest melodramas are those without apparent villains, where characters end up hurting each other unwittingly, just by pursuing their desires.” That is the peril of this film: by drawing in the viewers emotionally, it minimizes the blow of how abhorrent their acts are. Adultery and homosexuality are seen as taboos inflicted by a conservative society, not moral absolutes commanded by a loving God who has our best interests at heart. This film fulfills what Paul wrote about in Romans 1:24-25: “Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator.”
Unless you like eating propaganda for dinner, avoid this movie altogether.