On the release of this wrenching suburban melodrama, Stanley Kauffmann wondered in the pages of The New Republic “why an imitation [Douglas] Sirk was needed” to begin with—but when the “imitation” in question is as penetrating, visually alive, and cued to the political atmosphere of the present as Far from Heaven, that question hardly needs asking. In rethinking Sirk’s All That Heaven Allows, Haynes expanded the earlier film’s definition of romantic transgression: the forbidden loves at the center of Haynes’s movie, which charts the painful fall of a suburban couple (Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid) from the heights of social grace, crossing racial and sexual lines as well as those of class. But he also conjured up an extinct cinematic genre with eerie exactitude, and used its methods to shed a painful, unflattering light on his own time.