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Until recently, all John and Wendy Savage (Hoffman, Linney) had in common was a lousy childhood and a few strands of DNA. But after years of drifting apart, they're forced to band together to care for the elderly, cantankerous father who made their formative years "challenging." In the process, both of these aimless, perpetually adolescent forty-something's may just, at long last, have to grow up! Academy Award winner Philip Seymour Hoffman and Academy Award nominee Laura Linney deliver unforgettable performances in this hilarious coming-of-middle age story from Oscar-nominated writer / director Tamara Jenkins.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 165
- Fresh: 147
- Rotten: 18
- Average Rating: 7.5/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: Linney and Hoffman are both terrific, and Jenkins's script is pointed and perceptive, but the film's arc is a little flat.
Fresh: Powerful, painful and yet unerringly funny as it points out our emotional and physical vulnerabilities, this is a film that finds the humor in tragedy while keeping both omnipresent.
Fresh: The Savages not only boasts Oscar-worthy performances from Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney as a self-absorbed brother and sister, its attention to detail makes it sweetly funny and genuine.
Fresh: The film is savagely funny about the indignities of old age, yet optimistic that it's never too late to have a happy childhood.
A brilliant, unsentimental look at what keeps us together
Tamara Jenkins's clever new film features a sharp, non-sappy script and great performances from Linney, Hoffmann, and Bosco. In a film that could have easily gone overboard into campiness, Jenkins gives us a smart look at family relationships. Well deserving of all of the awards it was nominated for, and featuring one of the year's best lines...."BIG, RED, PILLOW!"
This film is just great. If you were curious enough about it to read its reviews, you should just rent or buy it already -- you won't be disappointed.
Adored by critics and loathed by most movie-going audiences, Tamara Jenkins 'The Savages' is a rare, beautiful independent gem. While certainly not perfect, it is a very realistic portrayal of a very real situation. The acting is remarkable, Philip Seymour Hoffman is amazing but the real scene-stealer is the criminally underrated Laura Linney whose turn here as a desperate New York City working woman is remarkable and heart-felt. Philip Bosco is equally commendable as the once tough but now withered father suffering from dementia. Tamara Jenkins screenplay is fantastic, but her directing skills need a little work. The film is a tad over-long and there's a huge lull towards the middle. All in all, this is a painfully realistic but great film. Grade: B+