Safe (1995)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

A suburban housewife suddenly finds herself "allergic to the 20th century," in this drama. Carol White is a typical upper-middle class suburban housewife. She lives with her husband and step-son in a lovely home in the San Fernando Valley. She is normal in every way as she socializes with friends, eats right, and keeps a good home. But she does have a nagging cough. The cough keeps getting worse and is followed by nosebleeds and violent seizures. The doctors are puzzled but conclude that she, like a growing number, has become hypersensitive to the chemical substances that surround us. Even a whiff of cologne can trigger an allergic reaction in Carol. To find treatment, Carol journeys to New Mexico and enrolls in the Wrenwood Institute, a New Age facility designed for healing people. It is headed by Peter, who promotes self-love.
Rating:
R (adult situations/language, sex)
Genre:
Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Cast

Julianne Moore
as Carol White
Peter Friedman
as Peter Dunning
Xander Berkeley
as Greg White
Steve Gilborn
as Dr. Hubbard
April Grace
as Susan
Peter Crombie
as Dr. Reynolds
Ronnie Farer
as Barbara
Janel Moloney
as Hairdresser
Lorna Scott
as Marilyn
Steven Gilborn
as Dr. Hubbard
Rio Hackford
as Lester
Saachiko
as Dry Cleaners Manager
Tim Gardner
as Department Store Dispatcher
Wendy Haynes
as Waitress
Jean Pflieger
as Client's Wife
Brendan Dolan
as Patrolman
John Apicella
as Psychiatrist
Wendy Gayle
as Baby Shower Mother
Cassy Friel
as Baby Shower Child
Frank Dent
as Video Narrator
Beth Grant
as Becky, Auditorium Speaker
Jo Wilkinson
as Listener No. 1
Gerrielani Miyazaki
as Listener No. 2
Edith Meeks
as Patient No. 1
Francesca P. Roberts
as Patient No. 2
Elinor O. Caplan
as Patient No. 3
Dean Norris
as Mover
Julie Burgess
as Aerobics Instructor
Joe Comando
as Exterminator
Mitchell Greenhill
as Accompanist
Ravi Achar
as Wrenwood Instructor
Tricia Dong
as Wrenwood Patient
James Lyons
as Cab Driver
Mitch Greenhill
as Accompanist
Francesca Roberts
as Patient No. 2
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Safe

All Critics (53) | Top Critics (13)

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.

Full Review… | June 24, 2013
New Yorker
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | June 24, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

This creepy art movie will stay with you.

Full Review… | July 21, 2010
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | July 6, 2010
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

The audaciousness that marked Todd Haynes' earlier work has been supplanted by self-important preachiness.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Variety
Top Critic

The ironic handling of decor and characterisation builds an eerie portrait of the blissed-out West Coast bourgeoisie at their most brainwashed.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Safe

½

An intriguing, unsettling look at a naïve, 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.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

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 main

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

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.

Bob Stinson
Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer

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