SAFE | EW.com

Movies

Safe SAFE Julianne Moore, Xander Berkeley (1995, Columbia TriStar, R, priced for rental) Director Todd Haynes has a thing for women's afflictions: His...SafeDramaR SAFE Julianne Moore, Xander Berkeley (1995, Columbia TriStar, R, priced for rental) Director Todd Haynes has a thing for women's afflictions: His...1996-01-12Xander BerkeleyJanel MoloneyPeter FriedmanXander Berkeley, Janel Moloney, Peter Friedman
B+

Safe

Genre: Drama; Starring: Julianne Moore, Xander Berkeley, Janel Moloney, Peter Friedman; Director: Todd Haynes; MPAA Rating: R

SAFE Julianne Moore, Xander Berkeley (1995, Columbia TriStar, R, priced for rental) Director Todd Haynes has a thing for women’s afflictions: His visionary first film, Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, re-created the singer’s life and death – using Barbie dolls. Now he casts his original eye on so-called environmental illness, an apt representation of the sick-of-it-all late 20th century. Moore stars as Carol White, an exemplary California housewife. Buffing and beautifying her body and her massive house with the usual gobs of chemicals leaves her unhappiness untouched but not her immune system. (Carol is one of the most wan characters ever, but Moore’s triumph is to make her disturbingly complex.) Haynes is less interested in providing answers than in posing unsettling questions. Thus anyone who missed this creative film in its art-house run but who is willing to sacrifice a comforting experience in order to gain enlightenment will be rewarded. A-