My 100 favourite films. Entry #8: [safe].

Safe (1995)
directed by Todd Haynes
starring Julianne Moore, Xander Berkeley and James LeGros
Country: USA
Genre: Drama

Visuals: 8/10
Writing: 9/10
Everyday watchability: 6/10
Number of pounds Julianne Moore supposedly dropped for the role: 10

It's been quite a while since I posted a movie from my list. I wouldn't want to disappoint my parents (er...readers). Safe (sometimes written as [safe]) is about Carol, a San Fernando Valley housewife, who does the usual housewife things: she buys furniture; she exercises; she goes on fruit juice fasts with her friends in an unnecessary attempt to lose weight; she goes to baby showers. Unlike the average valley housewife, she falls ill with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), a disease that is believed to be psychosomatic.

Carol heads to a new age retreat where she can get better, but it seems as if she's just getting worse. Her behaviour and surroundings become more and more insular as she attempts to cut off as many toxins as possible. In this way it seems she'll never get better, that what she actually needs to do is confront her "disease" psychologically.

Nothing is quite this easy in the movie though. Everything has its complication. The characters in this movie are all quite complex and multi-dimensional. Even those characters that appear to be manipulating Carol and feeding her illness seem to have genuine compassion and intelligence.

It's an interesting film for those who like complex character/society studies. The music is eerie and intriguing, one of my favourite films scores, and Julianne Moore gives a truly amazing performance as Carol. Seriously, it's phenomenal.


1 comment(s).:

May 15, 2008 at 5:26 PM Peaches said...

This sounds like I movie I would enjoy watching--I like complex characters and psychological thrillers as well. Did you ever see Jeremy Irons in Dead Ringer?