When two brothers organize the robbery of their parents' jewelry store the job goes horribly wrong, triggering a series of events that sends them, their father and one brother's wife hurtling towards a shattering climax.
Philip Seymour Hoffman,
Jon and Wendy Savage are two siblings who have spent their adult years trying to recover from the abuse of their abusive father, Lenny Savage. Suddenly, a call comes in that his girlfriend has died, he cannot care for himself with his dementia and her family is dumping him on his children. Despite the fact Jon and Wendy have not spoken to Lenny for twenty years and he is even more loathsome than ever, the Savage siblings feel obliged to take care of him. Now together, brother and sister must come to terms with the new and painful responsibilities with their father now affecting their lives even as they struggle with their own personal demons Lenny helped create. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
At one point in the movie, Jon (Philip Seymour Hoffman) says to Wendy (Laura Linney), "We're not in a Sam Shepard play." In 2000 Hoffman co-starred on Broadway in "True West," written by Sam Shepard. See more »
When Larry drives to Buffalo to pick-up Wendy for the day, he brings his dog, the cat, and the house-plant. They all leave together and when they end up in the hotel room, the dog is gone. Then when Larry drops off Wendy back at John's house, she has her cat and house-plant but Larry's dog is still missing. See more »
The Savages (2007) was written and directed by Tamara Jenkins. Jenkins
gets everything right in this film about three family members who
barely connect with each other. Laura Linney plays Wendy Savage--a NYC
playwright who works as a temp and waits for an artistic breakthrough.
Philip Seymour Hoffman plays her brother Jon, who teaches drama at a
college in Buffalo. Although the siblings aren't particularly hostile
towards each other, they clearly don't have a close or affectionate
A health crisis makes it necessary for the two to travel to Sun City,
Arizona, to care for their father. We only see Lenny Savage as an old
man with dementia. He's not exactly a warm and loving person as the
film opens. Moreover, we learn that he wasn't a great parent before the
dementia, either. Both his son and his daughter don't keep in touch
with him, nor he with them. Now they have to deal with a crisis that
forces them together.
Hoffman and Linney are two of he finest actors on the screen today,
and, when they play off against each other, the result is movie magic.
Everything rings true--their love/hate relationship, their professional
jealousy, and their disapproval of each other's love life. They aren't
exactly the two people best suited to make life and death decisions
about their father, but that's the reality they face, and they have to
deal with it as best they can.
I've written almost 200 reviews for IMDb, and I've never even
considered mentioning the casting director. This review is the
exception. My compliments to Jeanne McCarthy, who has filled this movie
with an extraordinary set of actors in small roles. Everyone Wendy and
Jon meet looks right for the role--nurses, psychologists,
administrators, aides, students, etc., etc. It would be worth seeing
the movie again just to watch the actors who aren't stars.
There's also an excellent supporting actor. Peter Friedman plays Larry,
the married man with whom Wendy is having an affair. Their scene in a
motel room is short but both powerful and poignant. (Actually, every
scene in which Linney appears is powerful and poignant, but Friedman
holds his own in this one.)
We saw the movie in a theater, but an intimate film of this type should
do well on DVD. Incidentally, most of the movie takes place in Buffalo,
New York, and director Jenkins obviously has a real feel for the city
and its people.
This may be the best independent film of 2007. Don't miss it!
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