Todd Haynes presents a revisionist take on the paranoia thriller with this story of a Southern California housewife who suddenly falls victim to an inexplicable, apparently incurable illness. Carol White (Julianne Moore) lives with her husband and son in suburban comfort until she collapses one day, for no apparent reason. Her condition worsens in the weeks that follow, as she suffers from coughing fits, exhaustion, and spontaneous nose bleeds, triggered by sources as disparate as car exhaust, cologne, and the sun. Failing to find any medical explanation for her maladies, her doctor refers her to a psychiatrist, who suggests that her physical ailments are psychosomatic -- a theory echoed by her callous and increasingly frustrated husband. At her wits' end, Carol withdraws to an expensive New Age retreat for sufferers of "20th century disease," where the community's guru (Peter Friedman) champions a dubious regimen of diet, climate control, introspection, and self-love. … More
as Carol White
as Peter Dunning
as Greg White
as Dr. Hubbard
as Dr. Reynolds
as Dr. Hubbard
as Dry Cleaners Manager
as Department Store Dis...
as Client's Wife
as Baby Shower Mother
as Baby Shower Child
as Video Narrator
as Becky ...
as Listener No. 1
as Listener No. 2
as Patient No. 1
as Patient No. 2
as Patient No. 3
as Aerobics Instructor
as Wrenwood Instructor
as Wrenwood Patient
as Cab Driver
as Patient No. 2
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Critic Reviews for Safe
For all its disquiet, Safe is truly about the terror of losing control-or, even more frightening, being made aware of the fact that we never had control to begin with.
Safe is brilliant for the way Haynes, with cinematographer Alex Nepomniaschy and composer Ed Tomney, blankets the mundane in the eerie tone of science fiction and horror.
Moore, evidently under Haynes' instruction, gives a performance composed of near-total inertia. Her pale lifelessness -- meant to be frightening, I suppose -- is merely irritating.
With anti-star boldness, Moore doesn't so much embody the role as disembody it, dissolving before our eyes.
Moore, in a nearly unplayable role, is amazingly vivid and touching; this is a heartbreaking portrait of a woman in full, panicked retreat from life.
Safe is numbingly fascinating, partly due to its carefully composed, antiseptic visual style and its throbbingly threatening soundtrack.
You'd have to be cranky or blind to deny Haynes' artistry and vision. There's a dark power, a tremor that runs through the movie like the rumble of a secret dread.
Todd Haynes has always tended towards the clinical, an approach which in this dark and ambiguous allegory proves ever so coolly appropriate.
Beautifully constructed, chilling internal nightmare where every scene plays out like a little mini movie in and of itself. Brilliant.
In a summer of heavyweight action movies and flyweight romantic comedies, I don't think you'll find a more provocative little number than Safe, which creeps under your skin like a rash.
The audaciousness that marked Todd Haynes' earlier work has been supplanted by self-important preachiness.
Like Carol, this gifted filmmaker seems to be trapped inside a shell -- devoting his considerable intelligence mainly to justifying his own sense of paralysis.
Though the film had a miniscule budget, it looks outstanding with its dull, muted colors and godawful lite-rock soundtrack.
Richer in subtext than text, this poignant, much misunderstood deconstructive film, about environmental diseseas, New Age therapy and TV movie of the week, deserves a second look due to meanings and Julianne Moore's terrific performance in a tough role
The ironic handling of decor and characterisation builds an eerie portrait of the blissed-out West Coast bourgeoisie at their most brainwashed.
Moore gives a superb performance, see it
An overpraised, go-nowhere project.
Audience Reviews for Safe
Provoking look at how we struggle to deal with disease and mortality in our godless world.
Relevant and frightening if perhaps a tad sluggish and studied. Director Todd Haynes does amazing things on shoestring budgets.
An intriguing, unsettling look at a naďve, sheltered housewife (Julianne Moore) who becomes very sick, only to have her doctors tell her they have no idea what is wrong with her. When she decides to move to join a group centered on wellness led by a charismatic leader (Peter Friedman), her health continues to plummet. What makes this thing watchable and interesting is director Todd Haynes take on environment and how sometimes where we live and who we surround ourselves with is the true poison to one's overall health. Moore's rock-solid performance anchors this movie throughout its entirety, and it still has a chilling effect on one after the credits roll.More
i'm pretty sure this is a horror film. it's creepy as hell. director todd haynes walks a tightrope here. we never know for sure whose side he's on. it's verging on parody at some points but never quite. and the sound design is awesome. chilling from the first scene. i see a lot of comments about frustratingly slow pace and tbh it took me more than one sitting but i found it fascinating in the mainMore
With Safe, I'm sure there were some interesting things and comments going on but the extreme boredom I was overcome with while watching this movie killed my ability to recognize them. Julianne Moore plays a mousy, spineless and generally uninteresting wife overcome with a breakdown of her immune system leaving her susceptible to environmental toxins such as car exhaust, pesticides, etc. Haynes' visual style is pretty interesting and I liked the fact that this was technically a period piece (a movie taking place in 1987 made in 1995) with a few quirks but if you don't know exactly what you're looking at or for, you're in for a very painful watch. Overall, just an interesting concept that never convinces us it is...More
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