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The Safety of Objects [Import]

10 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Glenn Close, Dermot Mulroney, Mary Kay Place, Patricia Clarkson, Jessica Campbell
  • Directors: Rose Troche
  • Writers: Rose Troche, A.M. Homes
  • Producers: Angus Finney, Christine Vachon, Colin Brunton, Dorothy Berwin, Eric Robison
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • Release Date: Oct. 14 2003
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AZT1G
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Product Description

The Safety of Objects

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

By Robert Beveridge on May 17 2004
Format: DVD
The Safety of Objects (Rose Troche, 2001)
The first thing you're going to notice about this brilliant, completely overlooked littke gem is the quality of the cast. I mean, we're talking major starpower here, and Troche blended them together to achieve something close to perfection. The story centers on four star-studded suburban families, a mysterious auto accident, and a contest that involves keeping your hand on a car longer than anyone else. Oh, and it was all written by the sick, twisted, brilliant novelist A. M. Homes. How could you possibly go wrong?
The Golds-- mother Esther (Glenn Close, giving a career-best Brandoesque performance),father Howard (Robert Klein), daughter Julie (Election's delicious chanteuse Jessica Campbell), and son Paul (Dawson's Creek alum Joshua Jackson)-- are the cornerstone of the piece. Paul was a victim of the car accident, and now spends his life in a coma. His mother dotes on him, his father can't bear to look at him, and his sister, well, she's a completely different story. Their next door neighbors are the Jennings. Mom (indie darling Patricia Clarkson, who is never less than great) is still perilously close to the edge a year after her husband (TV staple Andrew Airlie) left, raising a delinquent (Panic Room's Kristen Stewart) and a girl (Haylee Wanstall, recently found in Sugar) who is in some way mentally challenged; it's never said, but it looks like autism. Also involved are the Trains-- father Jim (Dermot Mulroney), mother Susan (Moira Kelly), and their two kids, and the Christensens, notably mom Helen (Mary Kay Place). All the moms want to sleep with the gardener (Timothy Olyphant). Okay, can you see the starpower radiating yet?
As with most of Homes' work, the idea here is that modern suburbia is weird. Very, very weird.
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Format: DVD
I really wanted to like this film. I really did. The theatrical trailer looked promising, the ensemble cast of excellent actors excited me and the surreal quality of the cinematography was stunning. However, the film falls apart halfway through, but not for a lack of trying. All the actors give excellent performances and the direction was interesting. It was the story that was a bit thin. After the first hour the movie becomes a bit contrived and collapsed under its over ambitious weight. If I had to hear Paul's Song one more time, I swear I was going to pull out what little bit of hair I have left on my head. In its attempt to be another American Beauty-esque slice of suburban life, The Safety of Objects becomes a caricature of itself. Even though the acting is top notch it's hard to care about the characters in this incestuous (not in the true sense of the word) suburban neighborhood. Who cares that Annette was sleeping with Paul? Who cares about Jim's unexplained reason for helping Esther win a car? I quickly lost interest with the exception of the kid in love with his sister's Barbie doll. Well needed comic relief in an otherwise drab film. The only jaw dropping revelation I experienced was Esther's guilt inducing reason for keeping her comatose son alive. The Safety of Objects probably was better as a collection of short stories than one cohesive film. One of the review blurbs on the cover says "Comical!" and I agree although not in a good way. See this film for great performances from Glenn Close, Patricia Clarkson, Dermot Mulroney and the like but check out the Ice Storm, American Beauty or Magnolia for excellent examples of suburbia slice-of-life films in the intertwined multi-character plotline vein.
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Format: DVD
This film is an attempt at compiling a collection of rather dark and disturbing short stories by A.M. Homes into some sort of a coherent tale. It should have been easy. After all, it's set in a suburban wasteland. And the characters all suffer in one way or another. All the screenwriter had to do was connect the stories. Right?
Problem is, the film just tells some surface stories. There's sadness in the film as the characters act out their problems but it lacks the deeply probing literary quality which comes across in the book as a needle torturing a festering wound. There's Glenn Close, cast as a mother with a comatose son. There's Patricia Clarkson cast as a divorced woman who's desperate for affection. There's a potential child molester with his own dark secrets. And there's a young boy who has fantasies about a Barbie doll.
When it's all put together, the film plays as a soap opera. And in spite of some good acting, nothing can save it. The central theme seems to be simply how awful these people's lives are.
I can't recommend this movie. But if the subject of suburban misery and angst intrigues you and you want to experience some good writing, read the book.
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Format: DVD
Like MAGNOLIA and several other films released recently, THE SAFETY OF OBJECTS attempts to take a number of stories about life in suburbia and mold them into a single, interlocking narrative. However, the result is a mess.
While the film boasts a good ensemble of talented actors (Glenn Close, Joshua Jackson, Dermot Mulroney, Timothy Olyphant, Jessica Campbell, Patricia Clarkson, Robert Klein, Moira Kelly, and others) who deliver relatively good performances, the film doesn't seem to have enough for all of them to do. And what they are allowed to do doesn't always make sense. For example, Dermot Mulroney's character becomes obsessed with helping Glenn Close's character win an SUV contest in a local mall instead of mending his on the brink relationship with his family. Why does he do this? I have absolutely no idea and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one. There just doesn't seem to be a good reason for it.
While I'll admit I was engrossed by the story as it unfolded, it was because I was waiting for a bigger payoff. Something that didn't seem so purposeless. The film does bring up some good points here and there but in the end the only thing that seems memorable about the film is Paul's Song by Bullet and Jessica Campbell that is constantly played throughout the film as if to help tie everything nicely together. As a matter of fact, the song, at times, almost convinced me that I liked the film more than I really did but in the end, it was just the song I was in to, not the movie.
"In the morning, I hear the angels. They kiss our faces to help you smile. Oh, help me. We never touch. Please, remember I still believe in something beautiful. And you are all I need. Lift me up. I'm crying." - Paul's Song
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