Carol White (Julianne Moore), a Californian housewife in the prime of her life, is suddenly hit by a mysterious illness. Is she really sick, or just imagining her symptoms? Her life, which used to be focused on the routine running of a luxurious household, now becomes dominated by her illness.
Director Todd Haynes has always been interested in analysing the complex structure of identity and desire. Safe (1995), his enigmatic and multilayered masterpiece, explores them as pure constructs smoothly determined by social conditions rather than a personal will, which in the case of Carol White is almost absent. In that sense her strange undiagnosed sickness is not just a symptom of disintegration but also a personal protest, a desperate attempt to ward off the invisible blankness that gradually devours her. But is there a real chance to escape it, and at what price?