The Best Films of 2002

Eric Hoyt

1. “Far From Heaven” (Todd Haynes, U.S.)

Of all the films I saw this year, none was as thought provoking, emotionally affecting and well crafted as “Far From Heaven.” Set in 1950s Connecticut, Todd Haynes recreates the style of Douglas Sirk’s Technicolor melodramas to examine taboo issues of race and sexuality. Much like Sirk, Haynes uses luscious melodramatic style (filled with saturated colors and elegant costumes) to coat a commentary on American values, and in Haynes’ case, on history. In three remarkable performances, Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid and Dennis Haysbert play lonely souls trapped inside societal (and filmic) conventions.