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Safe

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Safe

Classification

Mature Audience

Mature Audience

Suitable for mature audiences 16 years and over.

NOTE: Contains Medium Level Sex Scene, Adult Themes, Low Level Coarse Language

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Description

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 and a beautiful house. 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 grand mal 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. 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 allergic reaction to milk, but explains that there is no treatment for that sort of allergic reaction. She sees a psychiatrist, who does nothing but make her nervous. In the hospital, Carol sees an infomercial for Wrenwood, a new-age retreat for those who are "environmentally ill", and leaves her husband and stepson to try and find salvation at this retreat: headed by a phony, grandstanding "sensitive individual" named Peter Dunning.

Review

Carol White (Julianne Moore) is a mousy housewife living the affluent life in the San Fernando Valley when, over the span of a few months, she begins to develop debilitating sensitivities to her environment. A permanent at the hair salon makes her nose bleed and her skin go bad, exhaust from a truck causes her to cough violently, she's allergic to the new couch, goes into seizures at the dry cleaner's. No one understands or credits her condition, least of all her husband or family physician. But the symptoms worsen, and Carol eventually discovers others who suffer from similar environmental illnesses. She checks into a desert spa that caters to those in her predicament, and the staff regales her with touchy-feely, infomercial-style affirmations. All of this could have been broad satire, but director Todd Haynes (Velvet Goldmine) opts for a filming style that captures the empty elegance of Carol's passive lifestyle and looks on with clinical dispassion, so that you can hear the oppressive quiet surrounding her. It's positively eerie, so you know you're not watching just a worthy cause picture or movie of the week. Haynes has more ambition than that, even going so far as to insert a slight buzzing sound in the soundtrack to accentuate the unease. Fluorescent lights? Power lines? Who knows? Maybe it's safe to call it the ominous rumblings beneath the surface of Carol's life, from antiseptic affluence to septic isolation in the spa environment. A model of sustained tone, boasting one of the most remarkable performances by Julianne Moore, from a whole career of remarkable performances. --Jim Gay

Special Features:

* Audio Commentary With Actress Julianne Moore, Director Todd Haynes And Producer Christine Vachon * Sbs Movie Show Interview With Todd Haynes * Theatrical Trailer
Release date NZ
April 20th, 2005
Length (Minutes)
118
Aspect Ratio
  • 1.78 : 1
Language
English
Subtitles
English, French, Spanish,
Supported Audio
  • Dolby Digital Surround 2.0
Director
Studio
Genre
  • Drama
Movie Format
  • DVD
DVD Region
  • Region 4
Edition
  • Standard Edition
UPC
9322225023536
Product ID
1470670

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