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Safe (1995)

R | | Drama | 30 June 1995 (USA)
Trailer
1:15 | Trailer

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An affluent and unexceptional homemaker in the suburbs develops multiple chemical sensitivity.

Director:

Todd Haynes

Writer:

Todd Haynes
4 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Julianne Moore ... Carol White
Xander Berkeley ... Greg White
Dean Norris ... Mover
Julie Burgess Julie Burgess ... Aerobics Instructor
Ronnie Farer Ronnie Farer ... Barbara
Jodie Markell ... Anita
Susan Norman ... Linda
Martha Velez Martha Velez ... Fulvia (as Martha Velez-Johnson)
Chauncey Leopardi ... Rory
Saachiko Saachiko ... Dry Cleaners Manager
Tim Gardner Tim Gardner ... Department Store Dispatcher
Wendy Haynes Wendy Haynes ... Waitress
Allan Wasserman ... Client (as Alan Wasserman)
Jean St. James ... Client's Wife (as Jean Pflieger)
Steven Gilborn ... Dr. Hubbard
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Storyline

"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 <esch@fische.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In the 21st century nobody will be...Safe.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a sex scene and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Sony

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

30 June 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Chemical Syndrome See more »

Filming Locations:

Simi Valley, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$512,245
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In an outdoor restaurant scene, one of the people sitting in the background, is the father of Director Todd Haynes. His sister Wendy is also in that scene. See more »

Goofs

Although this film was explicitly set in 1987, while Carol is driving on the highway, she passes a burgundy 1992 Cadillac de Ville. See more »

Quotes

Carol White: [about her declining health] I'm sorry. I know it's not normal but I can't help it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Decade Under the Influence (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Heaven Is a Place on Earth
Performed by Belinda Carlisle
Written by Ellen Shipley and Rick Nowels
Published by EMI Virgin Songs, Inc. obo Itself and Shipwreck Music, BMI and EMI Virgin Music,
Inc. obo Itself and Future Furniture Music, ASCAP
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Safe: 8/10
6 July 2011 | by lasttimeisawSee all my reviews

I'm a devoted Moore fan, so how could I miss this highly-acclaimed indie film, which directed by the genius Todd Haynes in 1995 and also bestowed her the crown of Queen of indies.

SAFE is an unorthodox indiewood member who has a unflinching core which dares to chart the mysterious battle between the body and soul through the dubbed "environmental disease". The concept here is an intrepid self-salvation process, in a world without any certainty, it is what we believe decides our fate, any physical phenomenons have lost all its gauges and canons. A striking truth is that nothing can save a troubled soul.

I do find stark pessimism in the film, and which is scarier is that it plunges a tremendous impact on me, which in turn solidifies my brief and proves that certain films could unswervingly employ this sort of manipulative trickery.

Moore is laboriously stunning for her role, a delicate doll with a determined will to pursue the cure of her unknown disease, a subtle yet multi-layered interpretation, which reminds me of a saying that "a lonely person should be disgraceful", until she eventually found the place where existed her idem genus. In the very end, she just cannot go back to her normal social life and only could survive by shielding herself inside a new egg-shaped "clean" room where she can dwell in forever.

I consider the film as a modern-day allegory, it challenges its audience to face a wretched circumstance - the insecurity of our carnal figure and the lost identity of any classification. In my opinion, the gritty singularity of ourselves is the cradle of the evil side of religion, one of mine catchphrases is that: Don't be swayed easily by those around you, by what you hear and what they say; adjust yourself in a placid mode, the one who knows you best is yourself, and is yourself only.

Technically speaking, the film deploys a post-apocalypse palette and a brittle score to embody an almost horrorfest-like shtick, Todd Haynes is an authentic auteur who has gut to surprise his devotees.


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