Far From Heaven

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I watched this lushly beautiful and heartbreaking drama again, and fell in love with it all over again. I can’t believe it’s been 12 years since it’s release. Julianne Moore is truly one of the greats. Give the lady an Oscar already, please. Her role here as a 50s suburban American housewife Cathy Whitaker is one where she was nominated for in the Best Actress category in 2003, and just one of the many outstanding performances in her career.

Dennis Quaid was really good too as the emotionally messed up husband Frank, who was struggling to accept the truth about himself. From what I understood from Wikipedia, he was the fourth choice in casting. Which indicates how terribly under-rated some actors are. There are many actors more known for action, adventure and comedy films who are actually great in dramatic roles as well.

I also read that writer and director Todd Haynes wrote the role of Frank envisioning the late James Gandolfini, and I was like, wow, that would have been really good too. James was unavailable because of his work on TV’s The Sopranos, but that would have been a great casting choice as well. He played a sensitive gay assassin in The Mexican (2001), by the way. A memorable and lovable performance. *sigh*

Dennis Haysbert is another actor I wish I see more on the screen. He has the same immense sex appeal and gravitas as Denzel Washington. If the two of them appear in the same movie along with Idris Elba, oh my God, I don’t think I can handle it. Dennis’s role here as Raymond Deagan reminds me of another role of his a decade earlier in the film Love Field (1992). That character too fought racism while having feelings for a love interest of a different race, this time played by Michelle Pfeiffer, in the story set in 60s America.

A video clip from Far From Heaven, courtesy of YouTube user thommcc: At first I thought the title of the clip indicates it shows the final scene, but it doesn’t, so I think it’s okay to put here.

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This post is Day 18 of ‘100 Happy Days‘.

Happy meter: enchanted

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James Gandolfini

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James Joseph Gandolfini, Jr. (1961-2013). Actor. Photo from taniaonthescene.com. Click to go there.

Aaarrgghh I can’t believe he has already passed away. He was only 51. Nooooooooooo…

Of course I loved him as Tony in the six seasons of The Sopranos, and he was amazing in so many other roles, but my favourite by him was Winston, the gay assassin in the adventure-rom-com The Mexican (2001). The leads of that movie were great too. Julia Roberts was a fun hysterical riot to watch and Brad Pitt was funny as well. But James was riveting, as usual. He was always brilliant and charismatic and an absolute joy to watch, made more remarkable by the fact that his performances are always so quiet and dignified.

The character Winston Baldry was an amazing creation in itself. A gay role that was so unlike typically portrayed in movies, but James breathed life into it as only he could. Some roles, like Tony Soprano, are played so perfectly that you’re just convinced they are truly meant for the actors that played them, that no other actor can play them as well.

My heart goes out to his family. His baby girl is only 8 months old.

A beautiful tribute to James here on Vulture.com by Matt Zoller Seitz.

And this great video tribute by movieclipsTRAILERS.