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2,643 Ratings


Directed by Todd Haynes
United States, United Kingdom, 1995
Drama, History


Carol White, a 1980s Los Angeles housewife, comes down with a debilitating illness. After the doctors she sees can give her no clear diagnosis, she comes to believe that she has frighteningly extreme environmental allergies. Welcoming retreat, she finally ends up in a New Age healing center.

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Safe Directed by Todd Haynes

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

1995 | Directors' Fortnight

Independent Spirit Awards

1996 | 4 nominations including: Best Feature

International Film Festival Rotterdam

1996 | Special Mention: FIPRESCI Prize


Safe was sly and suggestive, but its power resided in the lived-in physicality of Moore’s performance as the indelibly named Carol White. As in Superstar, Haynes used Safe’s nightmarish scenario to chip away at his star’s pristine, porcelain beauty, and Moore’s exposed-nerve acting credibly showed the horror of what lay beneath.
November 21, 2019
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I know that Americans are supposed to hate whatever they can’t understand, and certainly current Hollywood filmmaking is predicated to the point of tedium on this truism. But part of what makes Todd Haynes’s Safe the most provocative American art film of the year so far—fascinating, troubling, scary, indelible—is that it can’t be entirely understood. The mystery and ambiguity missing from mainstream movies are all the more precious, magical, even sexy here.
July 27, 1995
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The first time I saw Safe, I was smitten but mystified. Everything about the visual world grabbed me: the shimmering, hyperreal colors, the hilariously weird architecture and cold yet sensuous light, Carol’s brooding nights in the Garden of Evil – or is it Good? The ominous, hyped sound: Carol gulping milk, hovering copters, background voices like garbled transmissions from outer space. Safe makes you hold your breath.
June 27, 1995
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