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,
"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 <email@example.com>
Safe is perhaps a tad too ambiguous for its own good. The film focuses on a suburban housewife (Julianne Moore) who feels sick for no reason. Her doctor suggests psychological treatment, but she finds more comfort in the idea that her sickness is caused by environmental factors, such as car fumes and the like. Haynes never answers the question of what is really affecting Moore. One moment you're sure it's psychological, then physical symptoms displayed by the woman are undeniable. It's not that I really wanted the questions answered, but the constant toying with the audience does become a strain, especially as the film runs for two hours and not much happens. There's also the possibility that the story isn't meant to represent reality, but instead it might be allegorical. This makes it all the more difficult to unravel. I know I sound sort of negative in this review, but I did like it. I don't think it works completely, but I found it fascinating. One reason it does work at all is that Haynes' major goal seems to want to put us inside Moore's head. It shows us what it would be like to suffer and not know why, and how comfortable it might be to, say, join a cult, which is basically what she does in the end. Not entirely satisfying, but definitely well worth a look.
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