The Savages 2007 R CC

Amazon Instant Video

(132) IMDb 7.2/10
Available in HD

Jon Savage and his sister Wendy don't get along too well and they would both prefer not to try. Growing up with an abusive and absentee father, neither one has any idea about how to live in a loving family unit. But when they get the news that their elderly father Lenny is starting to show signs of dementia, and that his girlfriend refuses to care for him any longer, the two siblings must put aside their differences and come together to help a man who was never there for them.

Starring:
Laura Linney, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Runtime:
1 hour 55 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices.

The Savages

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The Savages

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Comedy
Director Tamara Jenkins
Starring Laura Linney, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Supporting actors Philip Bosco, Peter Friedman, David Zayas, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Cara Seymour, Tonye Patano, Guy Boyd, Debra Monk, Rosemary Murphy, Hal Blankenship, Joan Jaffe, Sage Kirkpatrick, Salem Ludwig, Sandra Daley, Peter Frechette, Jennifer Lim, Kristine Nielsen, Christopher Durham
Studio Fox Searchlight
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

There have been few films that show us what real life is like when someone in our family has dementia.
prisrob
Both Seymour-Hoffman and Linney work so well together, seeming perfectly believable as two very opposite sibling, both damaged by a very flawed parent.
K. Corn
Great acting, excellent script, compelling story and characters, nicely filmed and edited, entertaining AND it has something to say.
Jan Priddy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By K. Corn TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 21, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This would have been a 5 star movie if not for the ending. Even so, I would urge you to see it. They got so much right, even perfect, in MOST parts of this film. I was waiting for the DVD to come out and I ordered it (as of this review, it has not arrived but I've seen this one already)

UPDATE: Having now gone through the additional and special features on the DVD, I also wanted to say that they are not just simple "add ons" but help add perspective to this film. The actors speak about the fact the complexities of family relationships and Seymour-Hoffman adds his take (which can also be seen here on Amazon's own snippet from the film for now) that it isn't normal for children to be estranged from a parent. In this case, the children of a very difficult father are alienated from him.

The film struck home for me because I'm helping to care for two relatives, both elderly, one in a nursing home. Trust me, I know authenticity when it comes to catching the dynamics of family relationships, dealing with an elderly parent and all the issues that come into play. Even in the best of situations, there are tough days. Aging can go down hard and mental and physical decline, as portrayed so aptly in this film, isn't easy to watch.

Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney are also excellent as brother and sister who have their own struggles with facing reality and dealing with an imperfect father. They have their own flawed and difficult lives and then, suddenly, they have total responsibility for their father, who is left without the girlfriend or backup support that the siblings thought was there. Now what?

That is the plot, in short. Hoffman manages to be clumsy but engaging, a trait he seems to have made into an art form in many films.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By H. Schneider on May 2, 2008
Format: DVD
The film handles brillantly a common challenge that many of us have to face: what to do with a demented parent.
The general problem is generic, the individual circumstances vary according to our situation in life. Money helps. A functional family life helps. Benevolent geography helps.
Linney and Hoffman are among the best contemporary actors, and they give us two people with enough problems of their own, who didn't need a demented father dropping from the sky on them, which happens due to the death of his life partner. They are siblings from a 'dysfunctional' family, the father had disappeared from their life for 20 years, he is remembered as unloving and abusive, and he does behave in a way that one would not want to meet him in real life. His 'kids' are struggling middle aged intellectuals, with pityful emotional lives, but still hopeful for improvement. (You get to hear Hoffman sing a Brecht song in German; consider this a bonus.)
Some underdeveloped mind had classified this film as a 'comedy'. That was what we expected when we started watching the film, but we soon realized how far off that label is. I mention this because it gives a good contrast to one of the strong features of the film and of its characters: there is a sense of humor in the midst of sadness. The Savages definitely would have deserved at least 2 acting award nominations at the last Oscars.
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47 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 24, 2008
Format: DVD
How we all come to grips with our mortality is often previewed in how we manage the care of our elders. When that elder care is focused on a parent, as it is in Tamara Jenkins's brilliant film THE SAVAGES, it not only strikes chords with individual philosophies, but is also reveals the intricacies of family relationships that come into play in coping with the final days of a parent's life. Though there is little story to this film, this is a character study about isolation, loneliness, and need that will touch the hearts of sensitive viewers.

Wendy Savage (Laura Linney) is a frustrated unpublished playwright working as a temp, a bright woman whose insecurities limit her emotional activity to an affair with a 'safe' married man Larry (Peter Friedman). Jon Savage (Philip Seymour Hoffman), her older brother, is a professor of philosophy who is writing a book on the theater of the absurd of Bertolt Brecht while living in Buffalo with a Polish woman, Kasia (Cara Seymour), who, because Jon does not wish to commit to marriage, is forcing his only emotional tie to return to Poland when her Visa expires. Wendy and Jon were deserted by their mother at an early age, left in the care of their abusive father Lenny Savage (Philip Bosco), and both siblings have distanced themselves from their father now living in Sun City, Arizona with his girlfriend of twenty years. Lenny's girlfriend dies and the signs of Lenny's rapidly encroaching dementia force Wendy and Jon to fly to Arizona to 'make arrangements' for their demented father. Coming together under duress the two siblings are forced to confront their own frustrations together with the realities of placing Lenny in a nursing home.
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Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman shine is the seriocomic film, "The Savages," written and directed by Tamara Jenkins. Linney is Wendy Savage, a thirty-nine year old office temp and aspiring playwright. Hoffman plays forty-two year old Jon Savage, a theater professor in Buffalo who specializes in the works of Berthold Brecht. Neither Jon nor Wendy is particularly successful, although Jon does have a steady job and is working on a book. Both have managed to make a mess of their personal lives. Jon has a Polish girlfriend who is about to return to her country; he loves her but cannot make a permanent commitment. Wendy settles for quick and humiliating liaisons with a married man, instead of seeking a long-term relationship with someone who is free to give her the love that she craves.

The siblings have never been particularly close, but they are reluctantly thrown together when their elderly father, Leonard Savage, is ejected from the Sun City, Arizona retirement home where he sponged off his girlfriend for years. Leonard is becoming forgetful and agitated, and the two younger Savages must decide what to do for a father who abused and neglected them. Jon dutifully arranges for Leonard to be placed in a decent enough facility in Buffalo, but Wendy is so upset by her father's decline that she unfairly lashes out at her brother. As the weeks pass, the two try to put their rancor aside and begin to empathize with one another. They also start to realize that there is a statute of limitations on blaming your parents for everything that is wrong with your life.

Tamara Jenkins nicely balances humor and poignancy in a film that is moving but never schmaltzy.
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