Friday, March 21, 2008

Love and Death: The Savages

A sad but funny film that is a joy to watch, not only because of the chemistry between Laura Linney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Philip Bosco, but because it is as witty and smart as Juno, but with an semi-depressing edge. Linney and Hoffman star brilliantly as two siblings whose father needs to be transfered to a nursing home. The chemistry between these two is great, but add Bosco to the mix and wham!, instant hilarious dramedy. Linney is great in this role, as a frantic playwright who a married man (Peter Friedman) is having an affair with, and Hoffman is perfect as the Bertolt Brecht expert brother (he is a doctor of the theatre of physical unrest, or at least Laura Linney's character says he is), adding the right amount of remorse to the movie. Bosco is great, but the movie isn't extremely deep on his character, but I guess it would have been sappier if it had. Anyways, the movie plays out like an American version of Away From Her (another great film about nursing homes), but more upbeat, wittier, and filmed better (the cinematography conveys an brilliant uneasiness). Bottom line: Tamara Jenkins' film is a masterpiece, written and directed to perfection, with great performances all around, and with great heart. A

1 comment:

aspergiansarah said...

Okay... I know the dad was abusive and all, but I couldn't help but feel sorry for him at the scene where his kids are fighting so loudly he has to turn of his hearing aid.

I watched this with a family member who had suffered a loss, and of course he got depressed. That was awkward, and I would of felt like cow crud except it was his idea. It never fails: people are magnetically attracted to whatever disturbs them, huh?

It never was very clear about Jon and Wendy's experiences with their dad, huh? Besides the play sequence, the experience was very much open to interpretation (Ugh! Hate that phrase.) Do you figure that was intentional, to make it unclear and lacking in ever-common 'flashbacks?'