Sunday, November 24, 2002

Last night Ereck and I went with Josh and Travis to see Far From Heaven, the new Todd Haynes film that's a remake of Douglas Sirk's All That Heaven Allows, which I haven't seen. Nor have I seen any other Sirk, and it seems like I oughta.

I enjoyed the movie. Julianne Moore is terrific, and so is Dennis Quaid, who I always liked. (I seem to recall that my first Dennis Quaid experience was 1984's messy Dreamscape, a forgettable movie notable only perhaps for its being one of the earliest PG13 releases.) Set in Hartford, Connecticut in 1957, Far From Heaven is a lavishly designed period film that has something or other to say about injustice, and constricting social mores, and dishonesty in relationships, and some other things. I found its racial politics a little heavy-handed, and I groaned inwardly when the Julianne Moore character said of her romantic interest, "He makes me feel alive." Pauline Kael once wrote something about the sort of moment in films that makes audience want to throw jujubes at the screen. This was one of those moments.

But apart from that, there was a lot--a lot--I liked about Far From Heaven. As a matter of fact, the 1950s have been something of a pet topic of mine for a little while, roughly since Ereck and I went to see Kubrick's Lolita at the late, unlamented Majestic. On the basis of the Kubrick film I suspect that not everything we believe about the 1950s is true, that it was an entirely constricted, repressed time--or, more importantly, that now is somehow an unconstricted, unrepressed time. I may blog more about this later.


Before the show we went to Sa Bai Thong, which disappointed me, again. Give me one good reason we can't have a decent Thai restaurant in Madison--or, if we're stuck with mediocre ones, why there can't be some Thai in the $7-a-dish range, rather than the $10-a-dish range. Just tell me that. Please. It's depressing.

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