The Savages (film)

The Savages (film)

Infobox Film
name = The Savages

caption = Theatrical release poster
director = Tamara Jenkins
producer = Alexander Payne
writer = Tamara Jenkins
starring = Laura Linney
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Bosco
music = Stephen Trask
distributor = 2007
runtime = 113 min.
country = USA
language = English
budget = $9 million
gross = $9,610,042
website =
amg_id = 1:344903
imdb_id = 0775529

"The Savages" is a 2007 American comedy-drama film, written and directed by Tamara Jenkins. It stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.


After drifting apart emotionally over the years, two single siblings — Wendy (Linney) and Jon (Hoffman) — must band together to care for their estranged, elderly father, Lenny (Philip Bosco), who is rapidly slipping into dementia. Wendy and Jon first travel to Sun City, Arizona, to get Lenny once his common-law wife dies. They move him to a nursing home in Buffalo, New York, where Jon is a theater professor working on a book about Bertolt Brecht. Wendy, who is an aspiring, but unsuccessful, playwright, moves from New York City to help establish their father in Buffalo.

Neither is close with Lenny, who is said to have been a difficult man to live with. (It is implied that he was a physically and emotionally abusive father when Jon and Wendy were growing up.) Their dysfunctional family life appears to have left Wendy and Jon emotionally crippled and unable to sustain a relationship. She is sleeping with an unattainable married man 13 years her senior and he cannot commit to a Polish woman who must return to Kraków after her visa expires.

Their visits to the nursing home and their father's eventual death allow them to reevaluate their lives and to grow emotionally. In the end, Wendy is seen working on the production of her play about their terrible childhood and Jon is off to a conference in Poland where it's suggested he may reconnect with the woman he'd let go.


*Philip Seymour Hoffman as Jon Savage
*Laura Linney as Wendy Savage
*Philip Bosco as Lenny Savage
*Peter Friedman as Larry
*Guy Boyd as Bill Lachman
*Debra Monk as Nancy Lachman
*David Zayas as Eduardo
*Gbenga Akinnagbe as Jimmy
*Tonye Patano as Mrs. Robinson
*Cara Seymour as Kasia
*Rosemary Murphy as Doris Metzger

Critical reception

The film received very favorable reviews from critics. As of January 5, 2008, the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 91% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 113 reviews. [cite web|url= |title=The Savages - Rotten Tomatoes |accessdate=2008-01-05 |publisher=Rotten Tomatoes] Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 85 out of 100, based on 35 reviews. [cite web|url= |title=Savages, The (2007): Reviews |accessdate=2008-01-05 |publisher=Metacritic]

"Time" magazine's Richard Schickel named the film one of the Top 10 Movies of 2007, ranking it at #7, and praising both the cast and writer-director thus: "These actors are unimprovable as, somehow, they find a certain decency under the pressure of their grinding familial chore, a reason to hope that slightly better days may be ahead for them once their duty has been done. Writer-director Tamara Jenkins is less interested in heroically inspiring us than she is in showing us the values to be found in the more modest forms of dutifulness." [ [,30583,1686204_1686244_1692272,00.html Schickel, Richard; "The 10 Best Movies";] ]

Top ten lists

The film appeared on many critics' top 10 lists of the best films of 2007. [cite web|url= |title=Metacritic: 2007 Film Critic Top Ten Lists |accessdate=2008-02-25 |publisher=Metacritic]

*1st - Carina Chocano, "Los Angeles Times" (tied with "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly")
*3rd - Ella Taylor, "LA Weekly" (tied with "Away from Her")
*3rd - Sheri Linden, "The Hollywood Reporter"
*5th - David Edelstein, "New York" magazine
*5th - Marjorie Baumgarten, "The Austin Chronicle"
*6th - Lawrence Toppman, "The Charlotte Observer"
*7th - Kirk Honeycutt, "The Hollywood Reporter"
*7th - Peter Hartlaub, "San Francisco Chronicle"
*7th - Richard Schickel, "TIME" magazine
*8th - Frank Scheck, "The Hollywood Reporter"
*8th - Nathan Rabin, "The A.V. Club"
*8th - Ray Bennett, "The Hollywood Reporter"
*9th - A.O. Scott, "The New York Times" (tied with "Away from Her")
*10th - Carrie Rickey, "The Philadelphia Inquirer"
*10th - Manohla Dargis, "The New York Times" (7-way tie)

Awards and nominations

*80th Academy Awards
**Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Laura Linney)
**Original Screenplay (Tamara Jenkins)

*Central Ohio Film Critics Association Awards
**Actor of the Year (Philip Seymour Hoffman) -- WON (Also for: "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead" and "Charlie Wilson's War")

*Chicago Film Critics Association Awards
**Best Actress (Laura Linney)
**Best Screenplay, Original (Tamara Jenkins)

*65th Golden Globe Awards
**Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy (Philip Seymour Hoffman)

*Gotham Awards
**Best Ensemble Cast (Philip Bosco, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Laura Linney)

*Independent Spirit Awards
**Best Cinematography (W. Mott Hupfel III)
**Best Director (Tamara Jenkins)
**Best Male Lead (Philip Seymour Hoffman) -- WON
**Best Screenplay (Tamara Jenkins) -- WON

*London Critics Circle Film Awards
**Actress of the Year (Laura Linney)

*Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards
**Best Screenplay (Tamara Jenkins) -- WON

*National Society of Film Critics Awards
**Best Screenplay (Tamara Jenkins) -- WON

*Nilsson Awards for Film
**Best Picture
**Best Actor in a Leading Role (Philip Seymour Hoffman)
**Best Actress in a Leading Role (Laura Linney)
**Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Philip Bosco)
**Best Original Screenplay (Tamara Jenkins)
**Best Cast
**Best Original Score

*Online Film Critics Society Awards
**Best Actress (Laura Linney)

*San Francisco Film Critics Circle Awards
**Best Screenplay - Original (Tamara Jenkins) -- WON

*Satellite Awards
**Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama (Laura Linney)

*Women's Film Critics Circle Awards
**Best Actress (Laura Linney) -- WON

*Writers Guild of America Awards
**Best Original Screenplay (Tamara Jenkins)


External links

* [ Official site]

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