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 My interpretation of The Safety of Objects

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shibbyKStewartfan
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Posts : 56
Join date : 2010-04-27
Age : 31

PostSubject: My interpretation of The Safety of Objects   Thu May 06, 2010 9:37 pm

The film centers on the different ways people in this community have dealt with, or completely avoided dealing with, life transitions (getting older, losing someone, blaming yourself for a tragedy, divorce, sex, puberty, not getting an expected promotion, etc.) and of course, the results of the car accident. Each family is connected, in many different ways, and in order to catch them all you need to watch this movie SEVERAL times.

Another important theme is how people PUSH their issues onto other people in their lives. Samantha not going to camp (because her father isn't helping her mother financially) causes Sally to not want to go to camp. Mrs. Christiansen drills calorie counts and appearance information into her daughter's head because she's insecure about her own appearance. Mrs. Christiansen also nearly cheats on her husband, who truly loves her for who she is, because she struggles with aging. Susan is affected by Jim's dissatisfaction with his job, he doesn't contribute to the family except financially (note the morning breakfast scene, and Jim sneaking away for a drink in the restaurant). When he actually tries to contribute by landscaping there is a VERY metaphoric comment by Susan, "How do you mistake a flower for a weed?!" Jim views EVERYTHING in his life as not good (enough), he even tries to find flaws in his wife who genuinely seems to love him. Esther's depression about her son has alienated both her husband and her daughter. There IS SO MUCH going on in this film, if you only watch it once you just can't catch it all...

If anything, this movie is closest to Ordinary People or American Beauty.

Now onto Samantha and Sally. There is no relationship between them. I think the smoking scene is used to show that they are getting into trouble together, trying to find ways to act older but still longing for childhood with things like camp and dolls. When Sally touches Jake's privates, that's CLEARLY curiosity in older things, not younger. It is the transition between childhood and pre-adolescence.

Jim Train...I don't think Susan was cheating on him, I think he was digging to find unfairness in ANYTHING that he could. He found it at his firm, he found it in a stupid radio contest, he even found it while he was trying to play baseball and his card was declined at the store. I think he was just like Lester Burnam in American Beauty...unhappy with a great life (well, until Lester's wife started cheating on him because he was such a jerk).

The scoring system on the guitar was a representation of how many times the mother focused on Paul instead of Julie. It was interesting that after the first scene between the mother and daughter, when her mother is reading to Paul, Julie went and scratched in a tally mark..."One more for you Paul" is the remark that is made. It seemed to be a representation of their mother's attention. Remember the tanning scene, where she is wishing to be paralyzed? ("I'm paralyzed...If only it were that easy") she is wishing for it so her mom will pay attention to her too, love her too.

This movie is INCREDIBLY deep and meaningful, you just have to sit and really watch it, and definitely more than once.
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