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Dear FiLM Club Members,

I'd like to invite you all to check out my latest film, Far From Heaven. It's a film I'm very proud of, and one in which all the creative people involved did such an amazing job and put so much care into their work that makes me prouder than seeing that work so beautifully acknowledged by all the recent press. Julianne Moore – well it's hard for me to be objective – but I think her performance will astound you, if it doesn't make you weep with tenderness along the way. And that goes for Dennis Quaid and Dennis Haysbert as well, who so powerfully complete the film's central triangle.

As you may have been hearing, Far From Heaven is a film about the fifties, or at least set in the fifties. But it's also a film that tries to incorporate the tone and style of all those lushly produced and photographed women's films from the time. You may have been hearing the name Douglas Sirk bandied about, the amazing director of films like Imitation of Life, Written on the Wind and All That Heaven Allows, films that served as inspiration for Far From Heaven. Many of you film buffs out there may know these films very well. But what's been really exciting about the reactions to Far From Heaven is that people don't really have to know anything at all about Douglas Sirk or the 'maternal melodrama' to get into the film, especially after they realize there's nothing ironic about our approach to the subject matter. Gender, race and sexuality – all of which emerge as themes in the film – are issues that are as pertinent and unresolved today as they were in the 1950s. The film tries to show how the limitations imposed on women, or gay people, or people of color might be shared – or shareable – but not necessarily equal. That there are contradictions and hierarchies even in the ways we are oppressed.

Ultimately, Far From Heaven is a love story. But like all affecting love stories the love itself is almost too big for the characters to manage. So it spills into Elmer Bernstein's score, Ed Lachman's cinematography, Marc Friedberg's design and Sandy Powell's costumes. At the very least, Far From Heaven will take you out of this world and into another, a world in which color and shadow speak as loudly as any uttered words and the beauty of classic cinema is enshrined.

So I hope you'll get a chance to see the film. And if you don't happen to have a particular date that night – bring your mom.


Todd Haynes