Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Tamara Jenkins’ "The Savages"
For anyone who has taken on the role of caretaker for an immobolized or emotionally needed parent, Tamara Jenkins' quietly brilliant new film "The Savages," plumbs depths of grief, frustration and empaty as no other recent work has. Her film - about two grown children dealing with their elderly and ultimately dying father - comes with the kind of integrity which makes both its pain and humor recognizable. "The Savages" is authentic.
And rarely has that contradictory expression, "grown children," made more sense than via the self-abandoning performances of Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman as Wendy and Jon (yes, Wendy and Jon) Savage, two middle-aged half-people with literary pretentions who go through life as if they were still in college.
Hoffman has been on a winning streak ever since "Capote" - he's at that point in his career where he can do no wrong - and, as a result, has been reaping more attention and more film-group notices than Linney who, I'm afraid, has become The Most Overlooked Great Gctress of Her Generation.
She's been in no fewer than seven films of varying quality in the past year - "The Savages," "The Nanny Diaries," "Breach," "Man of the Year," "Jindabyn," "The Hottest State" and "Driving Lesson" - but her excellence has never wavered.
Give this woman an Oscar already! Prefferably for her spot-on performance in "The Savages."
(Artwork: Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney as Jon and Wendy Savage - to be confused with the Darling children)
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Posted by joe baltake at 8:18 PM