November 23, 2002 [Far from Heaven]
I felt that charge of doomed freedom in Poison--once my nausea subsided; lucky me I watched it at home; my gag reflex would've had nasty fun with popcorn and Milk Duds. The things I could bear to watch seemed to plead their case as living proof, even as they sank in viscid horror.
--and once more in Safe, Julianne Moore as yet another woman striking out into the desert, this time in hope that the heat and sand will mummify her disease and free her.
The only refugee is Moore's almost-out-of-the-closet husband, the only one who wriggles out from under the rubble, escaping psychiatrist and shock treatment and simply leaving her for another man. She had her gardener, briefly--and this time not just a gardener but a Negro! And they thought Little Rock was too much of an intrusion on the party; but she has to drive the station wagon back alone, Elmer Bernstein's score never quite a parody (the old hand is too good to make fun of himself here) but still leaning on her doom, pushing her with violins into a--should I write it?--gaily colored radioactive '50s desert where last Autumn's leaves stand just so in the vase in the empty house and the flowering dogwood watches as she disappears.