THE SAFETY OF OBJECTS
Review by Chastity Campbell
Starring: Glenn Close, Dermot Mulroney, Jessica Campbell,
Patricia Clarkson, Joshua Jackson, Moira Kelly, Robert Klein, Timothy Olyphant,
Mary Kay Place
Director: Rose Troche
Audio: Dolby Digital, Surround
Video: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Features: See Review
Length: 120 Minutes
Release Date: October 14, 2003
The Safety Of Objects was a fascinating movie
experience for me. I didn’t quite
understand the title right away, or the first half hour of the movie for that
matter. Soon though, I found myself
wrapped up in this story unable to stop watching for fear of missing the
connections between characters interwoven so skillfully throughout this whole
Based on short stories by A. M. Homes, The Safety of
Objects feels completely disjointed and dysfunctional in the beginning.
I found it very hard to keep track of everyone coming and going in each
scene. Whose family does that child belong to, and what are they
talking about? Add to that
flashbacks which didn’t seem to make any sense at all, and you’ll probably
feel the way I did…ready to hit STOP!
I’m glad I didn’t because after about the first half
hour of watching this film, things started to fall into place.
I found myself totally wrapped up in the dynamics surrounding each of the
four individual families. At the
same time, I marveled at how some of the simplest things connect everyone in
ways that run so deeply they may never be able to uncover and identify them all.
I think the best way to describe this movie is to combine
the flash backwards, pause, and flash forward style of the movie Memento,
with the connectivity from Six Degrees of Separation.
Director Rose Troche seems to have a single style approach to each movie she focuses her attention on. Her first film, Go Fish, was a black and white look at lesbian life in San Francisco, and the search for true honest to goodness L.O.V.E. Some people found this movie to be a bit too artsy and bland. I enjoyed it personally, because in essence there isn’t enough diversified cinema out there…yet. Her next turn in the hot seat was with 1998’s Bedrooms & Hallways, which was again about two gay men searching for love.
The Safety of Objects does stray from her formula in
that it remains in the heterosexual realm of possibilities at least as far as I
could tell. This film takes a look
at the different things we place in our lives, objects if you will, and how they
serve to make us feel safe and secure when everything around us seems to be
I believe one of the key messages of this film is
understanding how the objects in each of these peoples’ lives may help or hurt
them depending on how they are viewed at any given time.
The biggest thing I realized from this film is that when one object is
purged from our lives, we inevitably will find a new one to help us through the
next stage of life.
This movie really is a wonderful up and down, back and
forth roller coaster that is not only educational in nature, but fun to try and
keep up with, too.
The acting was, in a word, terrific.
Each character had their own motivation and surroundings to cope with and
flow through. All of the actors
gave tremendous amounts of energy and life to the characters they were
portraying. It gave this film the
boost it needed to get over that hump in the road that screams, “B” movie!
Out of everyone on this star laden cast ,I believe the best
performances were given by Glenn
Close and Dermot Mulroney. Close’s
character Esther was heartbreaking in her honesty regarding everyone around her,
only to be hampered by her own narrow sight into the realities of her own life.
Dermot Mulroney has never gotten the recognition he deserves as an actor.
He puts so much of himself into everything he does, that you have to
wonder why Hollywood doesn’t give him the nod more often.
Every actor in this movie delivered an A+ performance in my
opinion, and deserves a huge pat on the back for taking four completely separate
stories and making them flow so seamlessly together.
If you get past the first half hour, I promise the movie
does pick up and begin to make sense. You
never start a painting with the foreground objects first, so sit back relax, and
let this story be painted right before your eyes.
The video quality was a bit better than the audio, but not
The disk was a descent transferred to the 2.35:1 Anamorphic
Widescreen format. There was no
visible haziness to the print, and the edges were solid all the way through.
The transfer was a bit dirtier than I expected from a newer release. It could have used a bit of a run through at the DVD print wash, if you know what I mean.
The colors were bright and vivid when necessary, and muted
when not. Overall, it was a nice
transfer that simply could have benefited from a bit of an overhaul.
I expect so much more from movies done in recent years
versus those of yesteryear, but I keep being disappointed.
The audio with this one was all over the place.
The Dolby Digital Surround was a mix of just good and okay bouncing up
and down like a yo-yo on a string. While
there were no complete dropouts in the audio, there was a distinct difference in
levels between each spoken dialogue sequence.
The background noise/music beds were mixed okay, but again the balance just seemed off on the whole DVD.
If this disc is depending on its extras to feel safe and secure, it’s completely out of luck!
The original theatrical movie trailer for The Safety of Objects, as well as two additional trailers for Casa de Los Babys and Dead Like Me are included for our viewing pleasure.
English and Spanish subtitles are included, and those are
all the extras this disc has to offer.