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Safe Review

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Carole White (Moore) is stuck in a loveless marriage. To make matters worse, she thinks she has environment illness - rendering her allergic to the 20th Century. She sets off on a mission to cure herself.

★★★★

Nobody does the damaged and dysfunctional wife like Julianne Moore. She's garnered Oscar nominations playing decade-spanning variations
on this theme in such films as 'Boogie Nights', 'The Hours', 'The End Of The Affair' and 'Far From Heaven', but it was Todd Haynes' 1995 film which first established her credentials as perhaps the finest actress of her generation.

That Carol White is stuck in a stale marriage is only the beginning of her problems, however, as she's also suffering from environmental illness, a rare but genuine condition which renders sufferers 'allergic to the 20th century'.

Haynes uses this intriguing central conceit to construct a rich, multi-layered movie which combines 'disease of the week' melodrama with chilling, David Cronenberg-style body horror (Wes Craven called it the scariest flick of the year) and inspired consumer society satire worthy of Bret Easton Ellis at his best.

The whole thing is played out in perfectly controlled and composed scenes reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick, while Moore adds a touching humanity so often missing from that director's work.

As well as working brilliantly in its own right, 'Safe' serves as a fascinating companion piece to 'Far From Heaven', which saw auteur and actress reunite in triumphant fashion. Anyone watching this now won't want to wait another seven years for the next collaboration.

Beautifully constructed, chilling internal nightmare where every scene plays out like a little mini movie in and of itself. Brilliant.