Number of Times Seen – Twice (4 Nov 2003 and 24 Sep 2019)
Brief Synopsis – A young housewife runs into social problems in her neighborhood after she discovers that her husband is a closeted homosexual and after she begins a friendship with a local gardener who happens to be black.
My Take on it – This is a movie that I saw years ago yet didn;t recall much about it besides the overall premise.
They do a wonderful job showing the way that suburban life in the 50’s looked at scandals dealing with racism and homosexuality.
Julianne Moore once again gives a great performance and she does a fine job in this role.
Both Dennis Quaid and Dennis Haysbert also give superb performances here and they find a way for us to get a much deeper understanding of the difficulties that their characters must endure.
They want to live their lives in a certain way yet society tells them to do it differently and that is very difficult for them to accept.
The film is a tad too long and a few scenes could have been excised which might have made things even tighter.
Of the three main actors, Moore was the only one nominated for an Oscar and I deem the fact that they skipped over these men to be a really big mistake.
Quaid’s performance is slightly better and despite both a Golden Globe and a SAG nomination, he didn’t manage to repeat those nominations at the Oscars.
They present the setting of the 1950’s suburbia quite well and it’s easy to feel as if the story transports us to that other time and place of more than 60 years ago.
Bottom Line – Great look at how suburban life looked at scandals and racism back in the 50’s. Moore is great in the lead, but she is out-shined by both of her costars whenever she appears with them. Both Quaid and Haysbert are superb here and make us feel and understand the pressure and difficulties that they face every day in society. The story has a few lulls along the way that could probably have been snipped, but it does a really nice job showing us how secrets can cause so many problems for people trying to live life on the outside according to the standards of the location of where they live and not according to what their inner self tells them is right and proper. Moore was nominated for an Oscar for her performance here and both men were snubbed, but it is clear that Quaid’s performance is the better of the two. The story is set in the 1950’s really well and they are able to transport us to this time and place of over 60 years ago.
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Due to Julianne Moore’s pregnancy, Sandy Powell commissioned a duplicate of Cathy’s party dress, with the pattern modified to fit her, after shooting of the party scene was pushed back to later in the schedule. However, due to budget constraints, duplicating the dress was not an option. The dress was carefully shaded by a member of the wardrobe department to disguise Moore’s pregnancy. (From IMDB)
Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)
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