Get Out Your Handkerchiefs

Todd Haynes postmodern tearjerker

* * *

Far From Heaven won the audience award for Best Actress for Julianne Moore and the Outstanding Individual Contribution Award for cinematographer Ed Lachman at this year's Venice Film Festival. The movie has its flaws—politically, at least on the racial front, we've come further since the '50s than Haynes will concede. My daughter's preschool, admittedly in liberal Santa Monica, boasts a respectable quotient of multiracial (including black on white) families and a few gay-parented families, including a little girl who has two fathers. In public, at least, no one bats an eyelid. Haynes' tendency, thematically and ideologically speaking, to overstuff his movies may end up unjustly depriving him of Best Director awards. "I had said to myself, you don't have to put the whole universe into every movie you make," he says wryly. "And as it turned out, I put the whole universe into this." And will again. Haynes has bought himself a pretty Craftsman house in Portland, and when the junkets and the magazine interviews and all the public gabbing are over, there he will sit, working on his garden and on a new movie about Bob Dylan, to which the Great One has already given his blessing. It will have seven characters standing in for different aspects of Dylan at different points in his career, intercut with different historical moments in America. "And," Haynes adds, "it's about the history of the left."

That ought to about cover it.

FAR FROM HEAVEN WAS WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY TODD HAYNES; PRODUCED BY CHRISTINE VACHON; AND STARS JULIANNE MOORE, DENNIS QUAID AND DENNIS HAYSBERT. NOW PLAYING AT EDWARDS SOUTH COAST VILLAGE, SANTA ANA.

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