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The Safety of Objects [Import]
The Safety of Objects
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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
Most recent customer reviews
Im a sucker when it comes to emotionality in films and will often get teary during movies: Big Fish, Seabiscuit, etc. Read morePublished on Jan. 25 2004 by Derek B. Scholten
I was really touched by this movie. I previously had read the great book by A.M. Homes in which this movie is based on, a collection of short stories called THE SAFETY OF OBJECTS. Read morePublished on Jan. 22 2004 by Jake Z
I liked this movie a lot and I was very into it. There were a lot of characters to get to know and the movie did a good job in developing them. Read morePublished on Jan. 19 2004
American Beauty and Magnolia are fine examples of the Slice of Life/Suburban Angst genre. Funny and interesting with characters that draw you in. Read morePublished on Jan. 6 2004 by sigfpe
I thought the film was very well done. The acting was fabulous.
I only wish I could find a soundtrack!!!!
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