USA, 2007, 113 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Comedy, Drama, Family Issues
ENDS Thursday, April 24!
Suffused with humor as well as melancholy, Tamara Jenkins' long-awaited and smartly crafted follow-up to The Slums of Beverly Hills stars two of contemporary cinema's brightest lights - Laura Linney and Phillip Seymour Hoffman - as middle-aged, middle-class, moderately self-absorbed siblings reuniting to care for a father who is slipping into dementia.
When curmudgeonly Lenny's obnoxious antics begin to point toward his mental deterioration, Jon and Wendy Savage leave New York for the Sun City, Arizona home he shares with longtime companion Doris - whose sudden death leaves him in their ambivalent charge. Against the background of their father's increasingly delusional world, their lives appear in stark relief. Wendy is a single, unsuccessful playwright who - fraught with insecurity and burdened by disappointment - makes ends meet by working temp jobs in Manhattan. Jon, by contrast, is an illustrious drama professor in Buffalo who appears more preoccupied with the upcoming departure of his Polish girlfriend and the deadlines his publisher has set for his latest manuscript than with the family crisis.
But surface appearances begin to give way to underlying realities when the pair are back on home turf, setting their father up in a nursing home. As the titular characters begin to look beyond the urgency of their father's immediate affairs, they are able, bit by bit, to confront his mortality - and view anew the potential they themselves may still have time to realize. The Savages thus convinces us to look for the big picture in the exquisite but all-too-oft-forgotten little moments.
DIRECTOR: Tamara Jenkins
Producer: Anne Carey, Ted Hope, Erica Westheimer
Editor: Brian A. Kates
Screenwriter: Tamara Jenkins
Cinematographer: W. Mott Hupfel III
Principal Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Laura Linney
US Distributor: Fox Searchlight
Official Film Website