• I’ve seen Haynes’ Safe three times now and it’s gone from a Recommend, to a HR, and now I believe it to be a Must-See top 5 of the year quality film. It’s his strongest effort
  • It’s highly allegorical (or at least a few readings of it), ambiguous, filled with paranoia and Julianne Moore’s best (or one of) performance. She’s like a Lynne Ramsay vessel—retreating, frail— very physical performance
  • Her name is “Carol”—name of Haynes 2015 movie
  • Opens like a horror film- music and driving at night in a safe suburban neighborhood
  • 35mm
  • Opens on Moore hating having sex with her husband- like much of his performance they mainly show him from behind and Moore is the subject
  • Shows her life- flowers, furniture, aerobics—innocuous and banal
  • Hints at AIDS once early then references twice at the end with the cult-like group
  • Gorgeous mise-en-scene—some of it looks like it’s enveloping her- it’s a remarkable performance but it’s largely shot at medium to medium long shots with the suburban affluence taking over her almost – I adore the slow tracking shot in on her with her “help” all around her in her mansion
  • Ambiguous- hints at possible AIDS, struggling marriage, self-help advice from friends at aerobics, religion mentioned on the talk radio when her coughing fit starts—even mental illness—
  • Has a bit of Cronenberg/Howard Shore apocalyptic feel— “gory” school paper by step son
  • Pop music from 1987
  • Mise-en-scene galore- mural behind psychiatrists
  • The one-man character study is almost like a work from late PT (or Lynn Ramsay)—slowly builds—mise-en-scene as character for sure
  • Even during a sobbing scene of Moore Haynes holds it in long-shot letting the mise-en-scene play a part
  • The narrative and her decline keep dialing it up more and more—she’s physical derailing—skin and scabs— weakness—and that cult is chillingly presented
  • She’s a tough character- because she’s largely empty—weight loss for Moore with the physical performance
  • The film slows a bit at the ranch with dialogue—I prefer the opening with Haynes framing taking effect on Moore in the early onset. Ending with a tracking shot close-up on her face in the mirror- wilting—decomposing
  • I think there’s a read here (and the film doesn’t give it to us easily) of this is what it’s like to be the outsider stare on us- like AIDS
  • Must-See