For his short film before he broke into feature lengths, Todd Haynes decided to do a biography of Karen Carpenter-- using dolls. Playing around with different media and structure to create a striking 40 minute short. Never being one to follow the rules, all of his films have bucked the trend of traditional structure in one way or another. Which bring us to the topic at hand.
Safe is a film that resists tidy encapsulation. Throughout it, Carol, played by Julianne Moore in a tour-de-force performance, slowly descends into what she thinks is illness. Or is it? Safe has a bizarre tone to it. The sterile look of the film is Kubrick like in approach. It has the undercurrent of a horror movie but eludes all the conventions of one. Essentially, Safe is a horror movie about the normalcy of life. So if you're looking for ambiguity and subtlety, look no further. Haynes' best effort and a genuinely creepy film.