Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
With this year's Jewish International Festival underway, SWITCH has checked out the program - click here to read our reviews.x
review, Safe Spaces, Safe, Spaces, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Fran Drescher, Justin Long, Richard Schiff, Kate Berlant, Dana Eskelson, Becky Ann Baker, Lynn Cohen, Samrat Chakrabarti, Camrus Johnson, Michael Godere, Daniel Schechter, Comedy, Drama

SAFE SPACES

★★★

EMOTIONAL FAMILY DRAMA WEIGHED DOWN BY PROBLEMATIC SUB-PLOT

JEWISH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Chris dos Santos
28th October 2019

From ‘This Is Where I Leave You’ to ‘The Hollars’, there is no shortage of family dramas talking about grief and loss. Depending on your own experiences, these films can range from pandering to heartfelt, but more often than not they're just a bunch of celebrities getting together in an indie film to show off the fact they can cry. ‘Safe Spaces’ takes this overdone plot, but adds something “interesting”.

With his grandmother dying in hospital and his sister (Kate Berlant, ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’, ‘Sorry to Bother You’) crashing at his house, teacher Josh (Justin Long, ‘Going the Distance’, ‘Dodgeball’) is already having a rough and stressful week, but after commenting on a female student's sex life in class, his job is now on the line as well.

'SAFE SPACES' TRAILER

How you frame a movie is extremely important; it tells the world how you view issues and what you think about them. The biggest problem with ‘Safe Spaces’ is the framing. Josh makes a joke about a student’s sex life - a female student - and in the film's world, this isn’t seen as something that could be a problem. When he gets in trouble from the school, his family and most of the students don’t see it as an issue. The girl who brings this up with the school board is almost made out to be a bad person, so you feel really sorry for her and the way the film is treating her. I can see what writer/director Daniel Schechter ('Life of Crime') is trying to do, but this movie is about a grieving family so doesn't need a subplot like this, and I don’t know if the "white man is the victim" is something we really need discussed in film in the current 2019 climate. Josh isn’t a bad guy - we all have moments where we say something we shouldn’t - but the narrative should have been about how he learns the error of his ways and grows up, not him and those around him defending his actions and not learning from his mistakes.

‘Safe Space’ could have been one of the definitive films about losing a family member, but because of its "interesting" subplot it, unfortunately, weighs down its stellar cast and the film’s final package to come out as an average endeavour.

And yet the most conflicting thing about ‘Safe Spaces’ outside of that one issue is the incredibly strong cast. The acting, even from Long, is really phenomenal. I wasn’t aware that Fran Drescher (TV's 'The Nanny', ‘Hotel Transylvania’, ‘The Beautician and the Beast’) was going to be in this, and she knocks it out of the park. Her mother is the one who is sick and she's so helpless; she's about to lose her best friend, and you feel all of that. I hope she branches out into more dramatic film roles in the coming years.

‘Safe Space’ could have been one of the definitive films about losing a family member, but because of its "interesting" subplot it, unfortunately, weighs down its stellar cast and the film’s final package to come out as an average endeavour.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: TBA
RUN TIME: 1h 33m
CAST: Fran Drescher
Justin Long
Richard Schiff
Kate Berlant
Dana Eskelson
Becky Ann Baker
Lynn Cohen
Samrat Chakrabarti
Camrus Johnson
Michael Godere
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Daniel Schechter
PRODUCERS: Lawrence Greenberg
Courtenay Johnson
Jordan Kessler
SCORE: Aaron Esposito
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Looking for more Jewish International Film Festival reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights.
Knives Out - The smart, star-packed whodunnit
TRENDINGWIN KNIVES OUTThe smart, star-packed whodunnit
Flack: Season 1 - Anna Paquin's darkly comedic drama
TRENDINGWIN FLACK: SEASON 1Anna Paquin's darkly comedic drama
The Expanse: Season 3 - The terrifying next phase
TRENDINGWIN THE EXPANSE: SEASON 3The terrifying next phase
Mrs Lowry & Son - Vanessa Redgrave & Timothy Spall's moving portrait of an artist
TRENDINGWIN MRS LOWRY & SONVanessa Redgrave & Timothy Spall's moving portrait of an artist
Suzi Q - Celebrating a female rock icon
TRENDINGSUZI QCelebrating a female rock icon
The Furies - A bloody well-executed gorefest
TRENDINGTHE FURIESA bloody well-executed gorefest
Fisherman's Friends - A great catch for a film about friendship and music
TRENDINGFISHERMAN'S FRIENDSA great catch for a film about friendship and music
And Then We Danced - A passionate and remarkable classic in the making
TRENDINGAND THEN WE DANCEDA passionate and remarkable classic in the making
Jewish International Film Festival 2019 - The reviews
TRENDINGJEWISH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2019The reviews
Dark Place - An unsettling Indigenous horror anthology
TRENDINGDARK PLACEAn unsettling Indigenous horror anthology
God of the Piano - A tale that tickles the ivories
TRENDINGGOD OF THE PIANOA tale that tickles the ivories
Vivarium - What makes a house a (horrific) home?
TRENDINGVIVARIUMWhat makes a house a (horrific) home?
Marriage Story - Simply extraordinary
TRENDINGMARRIAGE STORYSimply extraordinary
Inseparable Bros - A heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
TRENDINGINSEPARABLE BROSA heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
Official Secrets - Exposing lies at a time of war
TRENDINGOFFICIAL SECRETSExposing lies at a time of war
Midsommar: The Director's Cut - Ari Aster elevates an already remarkable film to a masterpiece
TRENDINGMIDSOMMAR: THE DIRECTOR'S CUTAri Aster elevates an already remarkable film to a masterpiece
Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan - Close to home
TRENDINGDANGER CLOSE: THE BATTLE OF LONG TANClose to home
Stupid Young Heart - Irresponsible teens with no consequences
TRENDINGSTUPID YOUNG HEARTIrresponsible teens with no consequences
Judy & Punch - A dark fairytale from a fresh Australian voice
TRENDINGJUDY & PUNCHA dark fairytale from a fresh Australian voice
River's Edge - The kids aren't alright
TRENDINGRIVER'S EDGEThe kids aren't alright
© 2011 - 2019 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us