Conflicted 1950s housewife

Far from Heaven and Brief Encounter go deep into the social issues of the period

Far From Heaven pays homage to the melodramas of Douglas Sirk.
  • Far From Heaven pays homage to the melodramas of Douglas Sirk.

The two films I would recommend would be Far From Heaven and Brief Encounter because both deal with the marital struggles of a mid-century housewife being conflicted with what is desired by them and society. Though both films approach the subject matter in a visually distinct manner from each other, Far From Heaven, with its striking use of color, is truly a painting come to life as it pays homage to the melodramas of Douglas Sirk.

  • (USA) 2002, Focus Features
  • Available on iTunes and Vudu

Brief Encounter, on the other hand, takes a more noir aesthetic to create tension. This is enhanced by Celia Johnson’s performance where she’s able to communicate her character’s inner-conflict without any dialogue. However, Far From Heaven goes deeper into the social issues of the period.

  • (UK) 1945, The Criterion Collection
  • Available on iTunes and Amazon Video

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