Before Far From Heaven, Julianne Moore and director Todd Haynes collaborated on this equal-parts intellectual and ravaging twist on the disease movie. Why collaborated? Well, although Haynes' fascination with illness and identity make the film his, Moore's immersed performance makes the lead role unequivocally her own. She plays Carol, a Beverly Hills woman who develops allergies to her environment before, tragically, turning to a New-Age retreat for help.
With anti-star boldness, Moore doesn't so much embody the role as disembody it, dissolving before our eyes. Sure, it's not an upper. But the mix of Moore's delivery and Haynes' near-Kubrickian direction make Safe one of the most underrated movies of the '90s.