ming movie reviews

in about 100 words or less

Safe (1995)

UK/US 119m, Colour
Director: Todd Haynes; Cast: Julianne Moore, Peter Friedman, Xander Berkeley, James LeGros

safe 1995Safe is the story a woman who suffers from sensitivities to chemicals, exhaust, and many everyday products such as hair products and cologne. After a doctor declares her healthy, and refers her to a psychiatrist, she seeks out self-help remedies and new age “solutions”. Without taking sides, Haynes leaves the source of Carol’s disease open to interpretation. If taken as a commentary on the increasing toxicity of the world, Safe is years ahead of its time, as these kinds of reactions become more commonplace. Likewise, Carol’s need to seek quack cures can be seen an indictment of medicine’s inability to help her solve her very real medical conditions (Klaus Ming March 2016).


2 comments on “Safe (1995)

  1. SJHoneywell

    I really liked Safe. To me, this comes across as a horror movie either without a monster or one in which the entire world is the monster. It was filmed in such a way that there is dread around every corner, even though there may not really be anything to dread at all.

    • Klaus

      I agree, and particularly Carol’s helplessness – it was a pretty frightening film in that respect, though I probably too closely identified with Carol to see it as a horror movie.

      Unfortunately, sensitivities to smells that trigger headaches, etc., are very real. In this respect I viewed Safe from a very different perspective. The fact that Safe can be interpreted either way is certainly a sign that there’s more to it than either interpretation.

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This entry was posted on 03/21/2016 by in 1001 List, 1990s, All and tagged .
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