The Savages (film)

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The Savages
SavagesFilmPoster.jpg
Theatrical release poster by Chris Ware
Directed by Tamara Jenkins
Produced by Alexander Payne
Written by Tamara Jenkins
Starring Laura Linney
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Bosco
Music by Stephen Trask
Cinematography W. Mott Hupfel III
Studio This is that
Distributed by Fox Searchlight
Release dates
  • November 28, 2007 (2007-11-28)
Running time 113 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $9 million
Box office $9,610,042

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

Plot[edit]

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, 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.) They were also abandoned by their mother at a young age. 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 has broken up with her married lover, but has adopted his dog, which he had planned to put down. She is also seen working on the production of her play about their terrible childhood, while Jon is leaving for a conference in Poland where it is suggested he may reconnect with the woman he had let go.

Cast[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

The film received very favorable reviews from critics. As of October 14, 2012, the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 89% 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 #7 of his Top 10 Movies of 2007, and praises both the cast and writer-director:

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[edit]

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

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • 65th Golden Globe Awards
    • Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy (Philip Seymour Hoffman)
  • Nilsson Awards for Film
    • Best Picture
    • Best Actor in a Leading Role (Philip Seymour Hoffman)
    • Best Actress in a Leading Role (Laura Linney)
    • Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Philip Bosco)
    • Best Original Screenplay (Tamara Jenkins)
    • Best Cast
    • Best Original Score

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Savages - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2008-01-05. 
  2. ^ "Savages, The (2007): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-01-05. 
  3. ^ Schickel, Richard; "The 10 Best Movies"; time.com
  4. ^ "Metacritic: 2007 Film Critic Top Ten Lists". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 2008-02-23. Retrieved 2008-02-25. 

External links[edit]