A superbly ditzy Julianne Moore plays Carol White, a San Fernando Valley housewife whose closeted middle-class existence results in multiple allergies, a nervous breakdown and her eventual absorption into a 'New Age' retreat for the socially dysfunctional. Haynes' earlier films include a life of Karen Carpenter featuring animated Bardie Dolls and the stylistically splintered Poison. Here, he again beats his own path in terms of genre and tone, but his stance is so coolly detached that one's left at the end in a state of deliberate uncertainty about whether Carol quits or finds a 'safe' life. The ironic handling of decor and characterisation builds an eerie portrait of the blissed-out West Coast bourgeoisie at their most brainwashed.
Cast and crew