Saturday, July 14, 2012

Random Movie Review: The Savages

The Savages (2007)
Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Laura Linney

This is not 'Savages' the new Oliver Stone film of mediocre reviews. It wasn't a great film either, but it definitely wasn't that one.

Wendy and Jon Savages are siblings from a broken family that have to come together to take care of their aging father when his wife dies and he is left with nothing and nobody to care for him. Each child feels as if they should care, but they weren't raised all that well and in turn don't feel like they owe him much care in return. They have become self-involved, generally failing adults, and now they're in charge of someone's well-being. They put him in a home and visit him, until he eventually dies. His death causes them to take a look at their own lives and re-evaluate.

This film came out right after Hoffman made the jump from excellent character actor to star of the film Capote. Perhaps wanting to bank on that, they paired him with fellow character/ensemble actress Laura Linney, hoping for a cult hit and some mainstream success (would be my guess). The disconnect of the characters makes it hard to care for anyone in the film, which in turn makes it a bit hard to latch on to. The acting was good; the two mains played their parts as well as they ever do. I guess I just felt there was nothing to pop for either character. Neither Linney nor Hoffman was given anything to run with, really. That being said, it was an interesting look at dystopian family life and the ways in which we are affected by our upbringing, and how we are forced to deal with that.

Imdb suggests Squid and the Whale for people who liked this movie, which I feel is apt, as I felt the same about each of these movies. Good, interesting - but not great. Let's say 7.25/10 on this one.

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