Weekly News via Email
   Set as homepage | Add to favorites | Customer Service | Subscribe Now | Place an Ad | Contact Us | Sitemap Wednesday, 07.30.2014
Classifieds
News Archive
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
 1
 2  3  4  5  6  7  8
 9  10  11  12  13  14  15
 16  17  18  19  20  21  22
 23  24  25  26  27  28  29
 30  31
Online Extras
Site Services
Around Bend
Outdoor Fun
Travel Info
Shop Local




Members Of



Poll: Today's Live Poll
Email to a friend | Print this | PDF version | Comments (0 posted) 
  Blogger |   del.icio.us |   digg |   newsvine

Dec 21,2007
Movie Review: ‘The Savages’
by David Elliott

Most of us get old. We all die. And some, before the end, draw the extra penalty card: senility requiring round-the-clock care.

 
'THE SAVAGES' - Old Lenny (Philip Bosco, center) poses a big set of problems for offspring Wendy (Laura Linney) and Jon (Philip Seymour Hoffman) in the drama 'The Savages.' CNS Photo courtesy of Andrew Schwartz/Fox Searchlight. 

RATINGS

4 STARS - Excellent.

3 STARS - Worthy.

2 STARS - Mixed.

1 STAR - Poor.

0 - Forget It (a dog.) 
Those facts pretty fully define the sensitive soaper "The Savages," from director and writer Tamara Jenkins. She had considerably more fun, and delivered family truths with less underlining, in "Slums of Beverly Hills."

Old (77) Philip Bosco, in a very fine sunset performance, plays perfectly named Lenny Savage. Sick and fading, he has a grim temper and was probably never very likable. Clues indicate that his wife left long ago because he took up with another woman, and there's a hint of past rages inflicted on the kids.

Now, they're middle-aged and flogging their ambitions. Wendy (Laura Linney) is a temp worker and aspiring playwright, overweight brother Jon (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is a minor prof and Brecht specialist. They have lives more than lifestyles, and those lives wobble even more when they bring dad from Sun City in Arizona and park him in a Buffalo nursing home.

Jenkins visits all the stations of the dementia cross: ravings, fogged memory, embarrassments, mess, loss of adulthood. There is much use of pills and geriatric diapers, also darling pets and some goofy turns. Lenny treats other residents to Al Jolson's "The Jazz Singer" even though most of the care staff is black.

The movie greedily uses its rich cast. Linney as Wendy is very decent but so tautly wired that she seems ready to break. She's the sort of impulse fusser who will stop sex with a man (appealing regular guy Peter Friedman) to worry about her ficus plant; we guess that years of parental neglect and bad manners made her so brittle.

Hoffman, having a great year, is extremely subtle. His Jon is a brilliant but willful survivor, jammed with inner ghosts. He looks upon his sister as still being Pill No. 1, with dad only a contender. Nobody else could probably make a neck relief harness both so pathetic and so funny.

Still, the best scenes are those Linney shares with Gbenga Akinnagbe as a gently empathetic male nurse at the home. They feel much less crowded with agenda, and Akinnagbe's warmth is a very sane oasis.

People who have dealt with the seriously sick and aged will find many points of contact. But the movie virtually checks off those points, like a sophisticated version of a care brochure. Thank heaven for good actors.

A Fox Searchlight release. Director, writer: Tamara Jenkins. Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Laura Linney, Philip Bosco, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Peter Friedman. Running time: 1 hour, 53 minutes. Rated R. 2 stars.
1371 times read

Related news
Films in Focus: New and recent releases by David Elliott and others posted on Jan 11,2008

Films in Focus: New and recent releases by David Elliott and others posted on Jan 04,2008

Films in Focus: New and recent releases by David Elliott and others posted on Dec 21,2007

Films in Focus: New and recent releases by David Elliott and others posted on Jan 18,2008

Movie Review: 'Before the Devil Knows You're Dead' by David_Elliott posted on Nov 09,2007

Did you enjoy this article? Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00 (total 12 votes)

Market Information
Breaking News
Most Popular
Most Commented
Featured Columnist
Horoscope Guide
Aquarius Aquarius Libra Libra
Aries Aries Pisces Pisces
Cancer Cancer Sagittarius Sagittarius
Capricorn Capricorn Scorpio Scorpio
Gemini Gemini Taurus Taurus
Leo Leo Virgo Virgo
Local Attractions
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau

Mt. Bachelor Resort
Mt. Bachelor Resort

Les Schwab Ampitheater
Les Schwab Ampitheater

Deschutes County Fairgrounds
Deschutes County
Fairgrounds

Tower Theatre
Tower Theatre

The High Desert Museum

Advertisements



Deschutes County

Google  
  Web    BendWeekly.com
© 2006 Bend Weekly News
A .Com Endeavors, Inc. Company.
All Rights Reserved. Terms under
which this service is provided to you.
Please read our Privacy Policy. Contact us.
Bend Weekly News & Event Guide Online
   Save the Net
Advertisement
External sites open in new window,
not endorsed by BendWeekly.com
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Google Add to MSN Add to My AOL
What are RSS headlines?