Safe ★★★★½


A nauseating experience. There’s a slow trickle of hopelessness and anxiety which is flawlessly carried out here, expressed through a plethora of excellent directorial choices. Primarily, the casting of Julianne Moore for this role: in what has to one of the most impressive performances in cinematic history, she communicates the helplessness and desperation that defines Carol White’s mental condition with remarkable rigor. I can’t imagine another actress coming close to the lengths Moore goes to for this character. Now, atop an undeniably incredible effort by Moore, Haynes adds to SAFE’s staggering bleakness with cinematography so stark and desolate that it entirely suffocates the presence of our onscreen characters. He isolates them within wide shots. And to round off the feeling of unease he creates here, a low-frequency hum looms in the background of any shot where the camera begins to close in. Remains matchless as of the most unnerving works of filmmaking of all time.

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