The Savages - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Savages Reviews

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September 16, 2016
At times resoundingly beautiful, but in conclusion feels more like a didactic, simple tale of a family finding themselves when they weren't lost in the first place.
½ July 30, 2016
What is the hell is wrong with people these days?? 74% from the audience reviews? This movie was emotionless, long winded and indulgent. I envision a bunch of out of work actors and screenwriters waxing about the undertones and creative slow shot scenes with a lonely piano tune redundantly appearing from time to time. I had to watch to the end to see if there was going to be some clever ending that brought the slow drooling plot into an ah ha moment..... nope. It ended with the same indulgent pseudo artsy droning it started with. I was shocked to see that there would be any good reviews. I can understand the critics being positive since they like amateurish stuff like this that makes you seem smart for enduring but a paying audience???
Super Reviewer
June 16, 2016
Heartbreaking. A real film.
May 25, 2016
Writer-director Tamara Jenkins delivers her best work to date with a heartfelt and mature script - brought to life by fine-tuned performances from veterans Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman that manages to balance the dramatic and the comical sides of the movie.
½ April 26, 2016
Siblings must confront their dysfunctional past in another familiar movie about life's obstacles.
½ February 19, 2016
great to see anything of PSH'S at this point and there are some good scenes . mediocre as mediocre gets though
February 1, 2016
Truthful, funny, heartbreaking and acted so very well.
November 21, 2015
Koskettava ja hauska elokuva dementiasta ja sen vaikutuksista perhesuhteisiin, tykkäsin! (y)
October 31, 2015
what is good about this film is how natural it feels- with a light touch on a serious subject about caring for one's parents in their twilight years, brill perfs too.
October 11, 2015
The Savages are not the family Sherwood Schwartz wanted us to see back in the 1970s. They are emotionally stunted, easily irritable, and alarmingly contemptuous; to them, a healthy human relationship is the equivalent of a Healthy Choice frozen dinner, unstable, unpredictable, and a little bit plasticky.
It's not the fault of the now-grown Savage children, Wendy (Laura Linney) and Jon (Philip Seymour Hoffman), who weren't born this way but were instead made this way. The blame spotlight should be shone onto their father, Lenny (Philip Bosco), and their mother, who left the family when the kids were old enough to feel the pain of such a desertion. Though never outrightly said, it is suggested that Lenny abused his children all during the growing up process - and when we meet them for the first time, we can near instantly see the damage.
Wendy, 39, has never experienced a normal relationship, and is currently dawdling in one with a married man thirteen years her senior (Peter Friedman). She pops pills, tells herself that her temp job will eventually lead to her dream as a playwright, and won't admit that, by 39, most people have figured out what they're doing with their lives.
Jon, hapless and derisive, is a college professor who somewhat successfully writes on the side; his life would be more fulfilling, though, if he knew how to commit to someone. He's dated the same woman (Cara Seymour) for several years but can't seem to trust her, not because of anything she's done but because his formative years were never stable enough to ensure an enduring faith.
So when Wendy and Jon receive a call that the father they thought they had cut out of their lives is in the grips of heavy dementia (his latest hobby is writing on the walls with his own shit), they hesitantly travel down to his barely there living quarters and figure out just what they're going to do with him (Wendy is leaning toward luxurious assisted living; Jon berates her for ignoring the fact that all the luxuries are there for the guilty family members). In the process of his declining health do the siblings begin to come to terms with just how unstable their lives are - and, in a twist of fate, the worse things get, the better their self-acceptance becomes.
The second feature of Tamara Jenkins ("Slums of Beverly Hills"), "The Savages" is a tragicomedy of epic proportions, so exhaustively painful it's a wonder that we ever find the time to laugh. So perceptive is her writing that we can't help but look at ourselves and wonder just how much our childhood shaped us, how realistic we are at seeing ourselves in adult form. Wendy and Jon are so lost that their ability to put on a brave face is really something; as the eventual, expected death arrives at the end of the film, we smile as the loss of something scarring gives them the courage to move forward and pursue the interests they've never been able to grasp out of incessant fear. Linney and Hoffman bring a melancholy to the table that seems on the verge of picking up.
Though slightly overlong and narratively aimless, "The Savages" is a dark comedy that hits us where it hurts and still sees the humor in everyday hardship. Life isn't always funny - maybe it's sadder than we'd like to admit - but when a laugh comes, it isn't hard to want to grab onto it and make it last forever. Lord knows Wendy and Jon need it.
September 26, 2015
The Savages is a story about a family far from be perfect but also far from be dysfunctional. The father's last days helps to Wen and Jon to retake its famiiar relation and to face their father's health and mental condition.
September 23, 2015
Family dysfunction with a hopeful end
½ August 26, 2015
Witty, bleak, and at times poignant. If you have even a modicum of respect for the art of acting, Laura Linney and Phillip Seymour Hoffman will make your heart sing.
½ March 6, 2015
I can't begin to understand how can this be called "comedy", it's the saddest thing I've seen in years. A handful of characters, a bit of dialogue, a pinch of irony and a lot of good acting: there you have it. Seymour is (was) grand.
February 7, 2015
If you're a diehard fan of Seymour Hoffman sure, otherwise not much more than a downer.
February 6, 2015
Written and directed by Tamara Jenkins (Slums of Beverly Hills (1998)) and produced by Alexander Payne. This touching yet gently amusing drama is an honest look at the upheaval of family, and decisions that we all have to face one day regarding our parents. It's got some brilliant performances at it's core, and it puts it's characters first, and it has an endearing tenderness to it's heart. Sister and brother Wendy Savage (Laura Linney) and Jon Savage (Philip Seymour Hoffman) live in and around New York, but they've been drifting apart over the years. However, they get a call about their father Lenny (Philip Bosco) who has been living with a girlfriend in Sun City, Arizona, and Lenny seems to be suffering from dementia. When Lenny's girlfriend dies, he has no legal right to her property, and is asked to leave. Wendy and Jon take him back to New York and they have to find a nursing home that will be right for Lenny. However, they've never been close to Lenny, as he was a difficult father to live with, and they cut him out of their lives. On the surface, this could have been a very depressing and emotionally upsetting film, but it has an air of quirkiness to it, and something rings quite true about the story, (producer Payne touched upon similar themes in Nebraska (2013)), but Linney, Hoffman and Bosco hold the film together wonderfully, and it's almost a theatrical piece, and it's interesting that theatre plays a big part throughout the film.
January 15, 2015
Liked this movie and will miss Phillip Seymour Hoffman, although Lara Linney was the star in this one...I think most people I know have experienced abuse in one form or another. What to do when you are responsible for that abusers elder-care is central theme. Well done Tamara Jenkins Seemed to stay in the moment, which most healthy survivors do.
January 14, 2015
¡Ah pero también vi esta y es ganadora!
January 6, 2015
It is maybe true that Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman are two of the best actors of its generation (as critics say), and Linney has not an Oscar yet because she did not have the perfect role. It is maybe true that this story talks about the inside of the people. However, the problem is that, in this sad drama, you can know what is going to happen from the beginning: mid-life crisis, the drama of getting old, conflicts between parents and sons. So, not more than you expected in a hard movie, difficult to watch because of the though issue it talks about. If you do not care about that, it is OK for you, but maybe a little depressing until character which (all or them) are not white or black at all but are full of a dull, very realistic grey. Very correct soundtrack, even very good, I would say.
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