A brother and sister are forced to confront reality when
they have to find a way to care for their elderly, dying father.
The Savages (2007)
Written and Directed by Tamara Jenkins
Starring Laura Linney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Philip Bosco,
Peter Friedman, David Zayas, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Cara Seymour
Oscar Nominations - Best Actress (Laura Linney),
Best Original Screenplay
The Savages is a genuine heartfelt comedy about the inevitability of old age, led by powerfully real performances from Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman. It never feels like a movie. It feels like you're seeing a glimpse into the lives of the Savage siblings as they struggle with their own personal issues alongside this glaring problem of what to do with their father. It's a problem that a lot of people can relate to, and the smart, often hilarious screenplay adds a weighty sense of mirth that helps this film stand apart.
Linney and Hoffman are Wendy and Jon Savage, two aspiring writers who've drifted apart in their later years, but are brought together to deal with their ailing father (Bosco). Jon wants to put him in a nursing home, but Wendy can't get over her guilt. Thus begins a semi-comical, semi-serious struggle over what to do about dad, and every second feels like genuine human emotion. They lie, they cheat, they care, they leave, they laugh, and everything in between. Morally gray, sure. But human.
I don't think The Savages got a lot of attention, and it's since drifted off into indie film purgatory for most people. I want to assist in bringing it back and giving the film its due. I'd never heard of it up until a month ago, and it was definitely worth my time. It honestly made me think about what I would do in a similar situation. I'll let you know when I figure out the answer.