Monday, August 11, 2008
08.08 “The Savages” (2008) : A Grindie* Familial Encounter with Dementia
I have to agree with Tim’s take on “The Savages.” This is no graceful swan dive into Alzheimer’s, as in “Away From Her.” Instead, things are a grisly mess, as “Jon Savage” (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and “Wendy Savage” (Laura Linney) find themselves suddenly dealing with their estranged and now dementia-addled father. Philip Bosco (“Lenny Savage”) brings us every drop of bitterness and remorse, between increasingly rare lucid moments. Against the messy, noisy backdrop of their father’s demise, it’s the relationship between brother and sister that captured my heart the most.
What is it about Philip Seymour Hoffman? Why is everything I’ve ever seen him do so completely, magically, painfully, wonderfully true? Maybe, in that old fashioned, simplistic way of looking at what makes an actor great, because there is no Philip Seymour Hoffman evident in his work...only his characters. Each one as real as you and I. Seeing Laura Linney in yet another heavy drama makes me long for the days of her brilliant innocence in "Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City." Of course she’s very talented, but when the name preceeds the character...perhaps a change of some sort is due? Er....maybe I’ll just go rent “The Nanny Diaries.”