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Safety of Objects, The | 2002 | Glenn Close, Dermot Mulroney


Safety of Objects, The | 2002 | Glenn Close, Dermot Mulroney

Torn apart by their son Paul’s accident, the Gold family wither. Mum Esther (Glenn Close) nurses the comatose patient (Joshua Jackson) at home, while her husband and daughter drift away. Next door, Annette (Patricia Clarkson) struggles to raise her child and complete her divorce. Nearby, Jim Train (Dermot Mulroney) cannot escape the feeling that his life is inconsequential, strolling through an empty marriage and deadbeat day job. The mundanity of smalltown life pushes the neighbours together, and slowly reveals how Paul’s fate has impacted on all their lives…
Blame David Lynch. He trampled the picket fence in Blue Velvet , and set the tone. Happiness and American Beauty unpicked a similar suburban surrealism, while Desperate Housewives colonised hearts and headlines across the world. Rose Troche follows the format taken by Robert Altman with Short Cuts , condensing varied short stories to build a world suitable for ensemble drama. A.M. Homes’ acclaimed tales took 18 months to rework, the Eureka moment being the realisation that every character has, in her words “invested their emotions, their sense of self in the wrong things.”
There is a rule proclaiming that every quirky smalltown tale must feature Patricia Clarkson. As well as The Station Agent , Far From Heaven and Six Feet Under she has come to embody domestic madness. Mulroney also shines, giving Jim a hint of the Lester Burnhams but making his pathetic life (and sole moment of glory) somehow joyous.

Glenn Close as Esther Gold
Dermot Mulroney as Jim Train
Patricia Clarkson as Annette Jennings
Jessica Campbell as Julie Gold
Joshua Jackson as Paul Gold
Moira Kelly as Susan Train
Robert Klein as Howard Gold
Timothy Olyphant as Randy
Mary Kay Place as Helen Christianson
Kristen Stewart as Sam Jennings
Kristi Angus as Z-100 Employee
Writer and Director: Rose Troche (from the book by A.M. Homes)
UK, US | 121 minutes | 2002

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