HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Lodgers, The
Eagle vs Shark
American Assassin
Die, Mommie, Die!
All the Money in the World
Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, The
Black Panther
Children's Hour, The
Mayhem
Sphere
Guyver, The
Night School
Loveless
Ragtime
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Murders in the Rue Morgue
Wound, The
Scalawag
Let's Get Harry
Girl with Green Eyes
Sunchaser, The
Tom Jones
Downsizing
Defiant Ones, The
Centerfold Girls, The
Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, The
120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Police Academy 3: Back in Training
Safe Place, A
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
   
 
Newest Articles
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
   
 
  Savages, The What's The Damage?Buy this film here.
Year: 2007
Director: Tamara Jenkins
Stars: Laura Linney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Philip Bosco, Peter Friedman, David Zayas, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Cara Seymour, Tonye Patano, Guy Boyd, Debra Monk, Rosemary Murphy, Hal Blankenship, Joan Jaffe
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Leonard Savage (Philip Bosco) sits in the Arizona home he shares with his girlfriend and eats his cereal, but someone is about to interrupt him. That someone is his partner's nurse, Eduardo (David Zayas), who demands that Leonard flush away what he has left in the toilet bowl, telling him he is there to attend to the woman's needs and not his. Leonard responds by wandering into the bathroom and writing the word "prick" on the wall in his own shit. Something clearly has to be done as the old man is not able to look after himself anymore, so his daughter Wendy (Laura Linney) is contacted, and she in turn gets in touch with her brother Jon (Philip Seymour Hoffman) - what can they do?

That question is especially pressing as they have been estranged from their father for so long, and now he will barely recognise his offspring even as they venture south to collect him and work out what their next move should be. Although it's never spelled out in writer and director Tamara Jenkins' script, we can infer that Leonard didn't do his children much good, not when they were growing up and not when he bowed out of their lives for the preceding passage of time. This is because we can see in the scenes that introduce them that Wendy and John are not getting by too well, with she suffering through temping jobs as she tries to get her plays funded, he struggling with a book he's writing as his Polish girlfriend is forced to return home, and both not getting any younger.

This may have been billed as a comedy drama, but there's precious little to laugh at here as Jenkins adopts the "this is why we can't have nice things" approach to family stories where there are good things in life, but they are continually dragged down by the unpleasant stuff, like lying, damaging relationships and of course the big one, death. At the opening this looks as if it will be taking a smug look at the characters, looking down on them from a great height as they each fail to deal with the latest problem shoved their way, whether it's Leonard's encroaching dementia or Wendy's troubled love affair with a married man, her neighbour Larry (Peter Friedman) who pretends to his wife that he is walking her dog when he's actually cheating on her.

Wendy exists on a diet of pills, and even when she has to clear out Leonard's things from the house he shared with his now-deceased partner she pockets a bottle of painkillers for her own use. As her father has been thrown out of his accomodation, he has to find somewhere else to live and she is fooling herself that he will be able to find a residential home when what he actually needs is something closer to round the clock care in a nursing home. Although this is something that all too many sons and daughters have to face when the age of their parents becomes a problem, it's not often addressed in the movies, not the ones that wish to leave you with a happy ending at any rate, but Jenkins here does something interesting with what could have simply been depressing.

Yes, the film accepts that there's not much solace in reaching the end of your life as indignity is piled upon indignity, but it does recognise that we can take comfort in telling the audience they are not alone in their concerns, as facing the final curtain is the one thing common to us all, whether for those we are close to or for ourselves. So with that on the table, Jenkins manages to contrive a mood of triumph for the close of her movie, not one which sees the characters jumping up and cheering "Yay! We're alive!" but one which rewards all the hardship they've been through with a note of contentment. Oddly, it's this ending which sounds false, trying a little too hard to wrap things up without making us leave with a cloud of gloom hovering over us, but to compensate there is a clutch of excellent performances to hold our interest: you can't argue with the idea of pairing Linney and Hoffman in the same film, and they are as superb as you would want them to be. Music by Stephen Trask.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1352 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
   

 

Last Updated: