The Savages (film)

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The Savages

Theatrical release poster by Chris Ware
Directed byTamara Jenkins
Produced byAlexander Payne
Written byTamara Jenkins
StarringLaura Linney
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Bosco
Music byStephen Trask
StudioThis is that
Distributed byFox Searchlight
Release date(s)
  • November 28, 2007 (2007-11-28)
Running time113 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$9 million
Box office$9,610,042
 
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The Savages

Theatrical release poster by Chris Ware
Directed byTamara Jenkins
Produced byAlexander Payne
Written byTamara Jenkins
StarringLaura Linney
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Bosco
Music byStephen Trask
StudioThis is that
Distributed byFox Searchlight
Release date(s)
  • November 28, 2007 (2007-11-28)
Running time113 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$9 million
Box office$9,610,042

The Savages is a 2007 American comedy-drama film, written and directed by Tamara Jenkins. It stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

Contents

Plot

After drifting apart emotionally over the years, two single siblings — Wendy (Linney) and Jon (Hoffman) — band together to care for their estranged, elderly father, Lenny (Philip Bosco), who is rapidly slipping into dementia. Wendy and Jon first travel to Sun City, Arizona, to attend the funeral of their father's girlfriend of 20 years. When they arrive, they are told that their father signed a non-marriage agreement and will not have rights to any of her property. They then move him to a nursing home in Buffalo, New York, where Jon is a theater professor working on a book about Bertolt Brecht. Wendy, who is an aspiring, but unsuccessful, playwright, moves from New York City to help establish their father in Buffalo.

Neither is close with Lenny, who is said to have been a difficult man to live with. (It is implied that he was a physically and emotionally abusive father when Jon and Wendy were growing up and they cut him out of their lives.) Their dysfunctional family life appears to have left Wendy and Jon emotionally crippled and unable to sustain a relationship. She is sleeping with an unattainable married man 13 years her senior and he cannot commit to a Polish woman who must return to Kraków after her visa expires.

Their visits to the nursing home and their father's eventual death allow them to reevaluate their lives and to grow emotionally. In the end, Wendy is seen working on the production of her play about their terrible childhood and Jon is leaving for a conference in Poland where it is suggested he may reconnect with the woman he had let go.

Cast

Critical reception

The film received very favorable reviews from critics. As of January 5, 2008, the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 91% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 113 reviews.[1] Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 85 out of 100, based on 35 reviews.[2]

Time magazine's Richard Schickel named the film one of the Top 10 Movies of 2007, ranking it at #7, and praising both the cast and writer-director thus: "These actors are unimprovable as, somehow, they find a certain decency under the pressure of their grinding familial chore, a reason to hope that slightly better days may be ahead for them once their duty has been done. Writer-director Tamara Jenkins is less interested in heroically inspiring us than she is in showing us the values to be found in the more modest forms of dutifulness."[3]

Top ten lists

The film appeared on many critics' top 10 lists of the best films of 2007.[4]

Awards and nominations

References

External links