Wednesday, November 30, 2011
All That Heaven Allows
All That Heaven Allows may have a trite plot (a widow in a love affair with a younger man) and a flimsy script, but Sirk has us look over these small details for the much grander ones of the film. It's a bold move, but Sirk has done it frequently in his career.
The grander details in question are what Sirk toys with constantly: lighting, color and framing. All three are applied to Cary (Jane Wyman) throughout. After her affair with Ron (Rock Hudson) starts, she goes from wearing dull shades to vivid colors. When the affair ends, she's shot in the shadows frequently. Also, she's framed in many objects (mirror, doorway, window pane) to show she's trapped to the conformities of her town.
All That Heaven Allows isn't just about a love affair that is frowned upon. It's about one's desire to break free of the hypocrisy they face from those closest to them. After all, haven't you had that desire?
My Rating: ****1/2