Far From Heaven
Director/screenwriter Todd Haynes has created a melodramatic, star-packed, 1950s drama with Far from Heaven from Universal Studios. This heart-wrenching tale about spouses, fantasies, and unraveling marriage is presented beautifully in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. Colors are clear, even thought the film itself is shot with a slightly dreamy, past-tense feel for effect. The English 5.1 Surround Sound is the perfect vehicle to enjoy the haunting musical score by Elmer Bernstein. A French 5.1 Dolby Surround track, French subtitles, and Spanish subtitles are also included. The studio included many extras on the disc, which is to be expected considering the weight of the star power and the attention that the film received at last year's Academy Awards and Golden Globes. First, there's a screen-specific, rather technical audio commentary with Haynes that offers everything from in-depth insight into the makings of the film to the symbolic meanings of melodramas of the 1950s. Following that, the disc provides three featurettes, with the first being the lengthy "Anatomy of a Scene." Stars such as Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid provide insight into the movie, as do production designer Mark Friedberg and composer Bernstein. "The Making of Far From Heaven" is the typical commercial-like lengthy promo featuring all the film's primary players, but it's still interesting enough to warrant a look. In "A Filmmaker's Experience," Moore and Haynes speak in front of a live audience during a Q & A session at Los Angeles' American Cinematheque. But disappointingly, it's the shortest of the three featurettes. Rounding out the fare are production notes, filmographies, and a theatrical trailer.