When Safety of Objects
had its premiere at the San Sebastian Film Festival in September 2001, the attack on the World Trade Center occurred only a few days before. Director Rose Troche commented on the irony of this event, that touches on the theme of her film based on a novel by A.M. Homes—sometimes we take people, places and objects for granted and one day they are gone.
There is some virtue to this film now available on DVD and VHS, with an outstanding cast that includes Patricia Clarkson, (can she do no wrong?), Moira Kelley, Glenn Close and Dermot Mulroney. Glen Close seems to carry the movie, and surprisingly Close’s management team at first put Troche on hold. As Esther Gold, mother of a son in a coma after a car crash, she enters a contest in a shopping mall for her daughter and must keep both hands on a gas guzzling, monstrous SUV at all times in order to win it. Just as she hovers over her son, she is determined to acquire the object. In the background, Dermot Mulroney plays Jim Train, a hard working lawyer, passed over for promotion at his law firm. Afraid to tell his wife, he dedicates himself to Mall life as a groupie to Esther.
Two families lives are intertwined by the car accident, Annette (Patricial Clarkson) is a divorcee who had an affair with Esther's son before the accident. Her tomboy daughter resembles a young boy who died in the accident. His older brother, the local handyman Randy (Timothy Olyphant ) tries to comfort himself by kidnapping Annette's daughter. It may seem like a lot to keep track of, but the story line weaves successfully among the characters although not all are interesting. Troche demonstrated her ability in this format with Go Fish
, a film about young LA lesbians made in 1994 that did well at Sundance and later was picked up by Samuel Goldwyn distribution. On that note, Troche went on to become a director in Hollywood which includes an episode of the TV series "Six Feet Under".
Glen Close reveals that a mother’s love for her son is vital and is the rallying point of the film. Unfortuntately it takes a car accident to show how people often throw themselves into the safety of strangers and objects for comfort.
For Movie Magazine This is Moira Sullivan, Stockholm SWEDEN
© 2004 - Moira Sullivan - Air Date: 1/03
Safety of Objects
USA - 2001