Three intercut stories about outsiders, sex and violence. In "Hero," Richie, at age 7, kills his father and flies away. After the event, a documentary in cheesy lurid colors asks what ... See full summary »
In 1984, British journalist Arthur Stuart investigates the career of 1970s glam superstar Brian Slade, who was heavily influenced in his early years by hard-living and rebellious American singer Curt Wild.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers,
Another dazzling suburban phantasm from writer-director Todd Haynes, Dottie Gets Spanked (made post-Poison and pre-Safe) is a stylized, bittersweet nod to his childhood fascination with I ... See full summary »
J. Evan Bonifant,
Pinky is an awkward adolescent who starts work at a spa in the California desert. She becomes overly attached to fellow spa attendant, Millie when she becomes Millie's room-mate. Millie is ... See full summary »
"Safe" has been described as a horror movie of the soul, a description that director Todd Haynes relishes. California housewife Carol White seems to have it all in life: a wealthy husband, a beautiful house, servants, beauty, and a lot of friends. The only thing she lacks is a strong personality: Carol seems timid and empty during all of her interactions with the world around her. At the beginning of the film, one would consider her to be more safe in life than just about anyone. That doesn't turn out to be the case. Starting with headaches and leading to a grandmal seizure, Carol becomes more and more sick, claiming that she's become sensitive to the common toxins in today's world: exhaust, fumes, aerosol spray, etc. She pulls back from the sexual advances of her husband and spends her nights alone by the TV or wandering around the outside of her well-protected home like an animal in a cage. Her physician examines her and can find nothing wrong. An allergist finds that she has an ... Written by
David Eschatfische <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Picked by Entertainment Weekly magazine as one of the "50 Greatest Independent Films" in a special supplement devoted to independent films that was only distributed to subscribers in November 1997. See more »
[about her declining health]
I'm sorry. I know it's not normal but I can't help it.
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"Safe" is a deadly accurate portrayal of a few of the perils of environmental illness and some of the responses to it by those experiencing it and by those around them. It allows the viewer to feel vividly the vague nothingness felt by the main character, Carol, as her health spirals downward.
I was moved to tears by many of the scenes in the first half of the movie, as I identified strongly with her growing indecisiveness, unfinished sentences, and stumbling about. I find it sad that many people still do not yet recognize environmental illness when it occurs, and sadder still that many choose to believe it is "all in a person's head" as portrayed by some of the characters in the movie. This movie shows all too well the dangers of our convenient society. Unfortunately, I wish other alternatives had also been shown as possible treatments.
Julianne Moore gave a stunning performance, with the one exception of the dry, somewhat unreal-sounding cough. Her actions and movements perfectly mimic many of those of someone experiencing an overly toxic load. I would encourage anyone who is interested in discovering what it's like to be afraid to walk down a public hallway to watch this movie. Demons often lurk in unexpected places, insidiously creeping into our lives as we unknowingly invite them in.
Anyone who is unfamiliar with environmental illness or denies its existence may find this movie to be tedious and slow. I would encourage these people to take a more careful second look at what this is all about.
"Safe" is a brief encapsulation of many facets dealing with environmental illness. It deliberately leaves many questions unanswered, inviting discussion on many topics.
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