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What is the Far From Heaven effect?



Article: Jack Foley

Creating a Fifties-era melodrama today and playing it straight, smack in the midst of this pumped-up, adrenaline-crazed era, might seem like a perplexing impulse. Yet the strongest melodramas are those without apparent villains, where characters end up hurting each other unwittingly, just by pursuing their desires.

To impose upon the seeming innocence of the 1950s themes as mutually volatile as race and sexuality is to reveal how volatile those subjects remain today - and how much our current climate of complacent stability has in common with that bygone era - Director's statement, from Todd Haynes.

Far From Heaven explores several social themes: racism, homosexuality, and the role of women in families. In making the film set in the 1950s, Haynes notes he 'was very aware of the sense of superiority that we all feel about the '50s because, in some ways, the decade has been reduced to a series of cliches around suburban, conser