Image: Live On Air News & Movies Radio

4-26-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: SAFE (1995)

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Going back and re-reviewing Todd Haynes’ 1995 film “Safe” left me puzzled with some lingering questions after the pictures near two hour runtime with little to no resolve at the end.

Haynes approached a young Julianne Moore (the first of several collaborations with her) who had just got through shooting “The Fugitive” about starring in a low budget independent film surrounding a wealthy homemaker whose physical and mental health deteriorate because of the environment around her.

Carol (not to be confused with the protagonist “Carol” in Haynes’ 2015 drama of the same name) has everything: A beautiful home in Southern California, lots of money, a loving husband and spends her days doing whatever she pleases.  On the way home from a gym workout one day she develops a severe cough, so serious that she sees a doctor.  He says that Carol is completely healthy and recommends to both she and her husband that they visit a psychiatrist for further examination.   The psychiatrist says that her condition may be self-inflicted –that is things like stress could be causing the issue but otherwise doesn’t offer much help.  When Carol stumbles across an infomercial on late night television offering help for those suffering from similar symptoms and quote “environmental disease” she talks her husband into sending her to an outpatient holistic retreat called Wrenwood in order to get relief; of which may or may not have worked.

“Safe” was masterfully shot and captures the essence of the 80’s in near time-capsule style fashion with characters in tight jeans, headbands, high-top bushy socks, wild hair, vintage Mercedes Benz and Billy Ocean blaring out over the car-radio.  The idea of humans causing environmental damage, thereby harming themselves seems incredibly pertinent in the todays overcrowded 21st century but the film, despite setting itself up to be quite a thriller, never picks a direction and runs with it. Instead audiences are left scratching their heads as to why the film doesn’t provide some sort of climax and/or resolution to the problems “Carol” is facing.  This could have been achieved had Haynes added something sinister to the plot…

What if Carol’s husband Greg White (Xander Berkeley), who the film portrays as incredibly frustrated yet totally devoted to his wife and her ailment, had developed a relationship with another woman whom he loved more and the reason Carol was sick had nothing to do with the environment but everything to do with her being poisoned with Arsenic by her husband. OR as Haynes himself has louted too in interviews what if “Safe” was about an early outbreak of AIDS in the 1980’s (of which is the time it was first clinically observed in the United States) and again had nothing to do with the environment?  The way the film ends doesn’t eliminate this as a possibility as throughout Carol suffers from flu-like symptoms including throwing up and fatigue with no-one is able to diagnose something wrong with her. 

I believe a film as fragile as “Safe” (the plot develops at a snails pace) and audiences who screened it deserve a proper ending that concludes with a definite cause for the effect. We are taken deep into the lives of the White Family and Haynes is lucky audiences stick around past the hour mark with no more drama than a made-for-TV movie and the picture taking off so slowly and going absolutely nowhere. 

I give Todd Haynes 1995 film “Safe” 2.0 out 4 stars.

Interviews

12-19-2018 INTERVIEW: WRITER AND MOVIE MEMORABILIA COLLECTOR ALAN J. ADLER -NEWSANDMOVIESRADIO.COM11-19-2018 INTERVIEW: AMERICAN ILLUSTRATIVE ARTWORK DEALER FRED TARABA -NEWSANDMOVIESRADIO.COM10-9-2018 INTERVIEW: MOVIE MEMORABILIA COLLECTOR TODD FEIERTAG -NEWSANDMOVIESRADIO.COM10-23-2018 INTERVIEW: MIKE KAPLAN -HOLLYWOOD PRODUCER, ART DIRECTOR, AND POSTER COLLECTOR -NEWSANDMOVIESRADIO.COM10-5-2018 INTERVIEW: MOVIE MEMORABILIA COLLECTOR JIM GRESHAM DISCUSSES HIS LATEST BOOK "WHAT MUSIC THEY MAKE" AND COLLECTING MOVIE POSTERS AND LOBBY CARDS OVER THE YEARS -NEWSANDMOVIESRADIO.COM5-9-2016 INTERVIEW: COLLECTOR RON BORST OF HOLLYWOOD MOVIE POSTERS LOCATED IN HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA TALKS ABOUT COLLECTING HORROR, FANTASY AND SCIENCE-FICTION MOVIE MEMORABILIA OVER THE YEARS AND HIS BOOK "GRAVEN IMAGES" -NEWSANDMOVIESRADIO.COM3-10-2016 INTERVIEW: SOL CANDEL REMINISCES ON COLLECTING AND DISCOVERING THE ROYAL THEATER MOVIE POSTER COLLECTION NEARLY THIRTY YEARS AGO.... -NEWSANDMOVIESRADIO.COM

Movie Reviews

1-5-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: PLANES, TRAINS, AND AUTOMOBILES (1987) 1-4-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK (2018) 1-2-1018 MOVIE REVIEW: BEAST (2017) 12-30-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: SMALLFOOT (2018) 12-30-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: THE DEAD ZONE (1983) 12-29-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS (2018) 12-22-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: THE FAVOURITE (2018) 10-24-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: DEAD RINGERS (1988) 10-18-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: HALLOWEEN (2018) 10-11-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: THE OLD MAN & THE GUN (2018) 9-7-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: THE EVIL DEAD (1981) 8-31-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: WALKING TALL (1973) 8-28-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: RULES DON'T APPLY (2016) 7-22-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: DEATH WISH (2018) 7-18-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: LEAVING LAS VEGAS (1995) 7-14-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: WHITNEY (2018) 7-11-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: THE VIRGIN SUICIDES (1999) 7-9-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: MOONWALKERS (2015) 6-26-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: LADY BIRD (2018) 6-24-2018 AMERICAN ANIMALS (2018) 6-24-2018 SHOT CALLER (2017) 6-23-2017 MOVIE REVIEW: WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? (2018) 6-9-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: FIRST REFORMED (2018) 6-9-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: HEREDITARY (2018) 6-5-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: UPGRADE (2018) 6-7-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: RBG (2018) 6-4-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: THE GREEN MILE (1999) 6-6-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: ADRIFT (2018) 5-14-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: NOTES ON A SCANDAL (2006) 5-17-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: BOOK CLUB (2018) 5-11-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: THE DISASTER ARTIST (2017) 4-30-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: A QUIET PLACE (2018) 5-9-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: PADDINGTON 2 (2017) 4-21-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: THE REPLACEMENT KILLERS (1998) 4-19-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: THE POST (2017) 4-16-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: MIMIC (1997) 4-14-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: MOLLY'S GAME (2017) 4-14-2017 MOVIE REVIEW: PHANTOM THREAD (2017) 4-12-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: THE LAST MOVIE STAR (2017) 10-18-2017 MOVIE REVIEW: THE LIMEY (1999) 10-17-2017 MOVIE REVIEW: THE GETAWAY (1972) 11-23-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: ALLIED (2016) 11-17-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN (2016) 11-29-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: ARRIVAL (2016) 11-15-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: THE MONSTER (2016) 11-14-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: ALMOST CHRISTMAS (2016) 11-12-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: MOONLIGHT (2016) 10-27-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: OASIS: SUPERSONIC (2016) 9-9-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: SULLY (2016) 9-3-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS (2016) 8-12-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: BLOODFATHER (2016) 7-13-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: THE INFILTRATOR (2016) 5-24-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: THE MAN WHO KNEW INFINITY (2016) 5-11-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: MONEY MONSTER (2016) 5-4-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: JUBAL (1956) 4-29-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: GREEN ROOM (2016) 4-26-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: SAFE (1995) 4-24-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING (2016) 4-22-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: MIDNIGHT SPECIAL (2016) 4-20-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: CRIMINAL (2016) 4-14-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: BARBERSHOP: THE NEXT CUT (2016) 4-13-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: EVERYBODY WANTS SOME (2016) 4-5-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: STEVE JOBS (2015) 3-29-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: CRUMB (1995) 3-27-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: THE 33 (2015) 3-26-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: JURASSIC WORLD (2016) 3-22-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: MY ALL-AMERICAN (2015) 3-18-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: PEE-WEE'S BIG HOLIDAY (2016) 3-17-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: LEGEND (2015) 3-16-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE (2016) 3-15-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: CLOVERFIELD (2008) 3-12-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: DARK PLACES (2015) 3-6-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: THE WITCH (2015) 3-4-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: 28 DAYS LATER... (2002) 3-2-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: FURIOUS 7 (2015) 2-29-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: MICHAEL JACKSON'S JOURNEY FROM MOTOWN TO OFF THE WALL (2016) 2-23-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: KNOCK, KNOCK (2015) 2-23-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: FREAKS OF NATURE (2015) 2-21-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: Z FOR ZACHARIAH (2015) 2-19-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: FOCUS (2015) 2-18-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: UNBROKEN (2014) 2-17-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: 99 HOMES (2015) 2-17-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: RUN ALL NIGHT (2015) 2-16-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: SINISTER II (2015) 2-16-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: BACKCOUNTRY (2014) 2-15-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: A WALK IN THE WOODS (2015) 2-15-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: BIG EYES (2014) 2-14-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: NO ESCAPE (2015) 2-13-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: THE END OF THE TOUR (2015) 2-9-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: THE IMITATION GAME (2014) 2-8-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: DANNY COLLINS (2015) 2-7-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: BURNT (2015) 2-7-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: THE SALVATION (2014) 2-6-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: LISTEN TO ME MARLON (2015)