Far From Heaven
With only 18 days to go and 6 movies to see before the Oscar winners are announced on March 23rd, I decided to the brave the elements and go to the movies. Hey, what’s a little snow when I’ve got a deadline to meet? In any event, I saw Far From Heaven a delightfully little movie about a 1950s housewife (Julianne Moore) who walks in on her husband (Dennis Quaid) having an affair with a man. Ooops! While they try to hold it together, Julianne’s character turns to their black gardener (Dennis Haysbert) for support. This forbidden friendship ultimately causes tension in their conservative community in suburban Connecticut. The story is beautifully told and the cinematography is just amazing. But I had a good chuckle when Dennis’ character screams at Julianne’s character that her friendship with the black gardener is going to ruin all he’s done to build up the reputation of the family. What a hypocrite. I’m thinking his homosexual relations would have probably been more scandalous in those days. Oh well!
At one point in the movie, Julianne’s character questions the gardener about what it likes to be the only “negro” in the room. For me, that was a pivotal moment. I’ve been thinking a lot about this very issue. I’ve even tired to discuss with friends but they don’t really understand where I’m coming from. I can’t really blame them though…they’re all white. Whenever I go out, I’m often the only black person in the room. That’s really sad considering I live in a major metropolitan area like Chicago. I often play this game with myself where I scan the room and try and count the number of black people. Usually I can do it on one hand. So, I’m getting more self-conscious. Part of it is the weight thing…but the other half relates to race. Sometimes, I feel like a freak on display. Weird – but true. I’m trying to think of ways to have a more diverse pool of friends, but it’s tough when I didn’t grow up in Chicago. Plus I live in a white neighborhood, go to a relatively white church, hang out with Michigan alums who are mostly white and work at a company that has only 2 other black people on staff. My best guy friend (who is white) tells me I need to seek out social organizations that are more diverse. I already knew that. But I never really acted on it. Seeing that I’m finally ready for a change, I’ll do some research to come up with a few organizations to explore. I’m so ready to shake things up a bit. I don’t want to get rid of my white friends, I just want to be around a more diverse group. I need more black people in my life.