The Savages Film Review - Choices of A Life

Talented stars Laura Linney ( Wendy) and Philip Seymour Hoffman ( Jon) star with Philip Basco ( Lenny Savage) with Peter Friedman, Gbenga Akinnagbe, and Cara Seymour star in Fox Searchlight’s new film, The Savages. Written and directed by Tamara Jenkins it was produced by Ted Hope, Anne Carey, executive produced by Erica Westheimer, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor, Jim Burke, Anthony Bregman, and Fred Westheimer.   Original music was supplied by Stephen Trask and supervised by Randall Poster and cast by Jeanne McCarthy. Costumes were designed by David Robinson.

Honored by AFI before the screening, Linney talked about how she had grown up and how determined she had been to act. Indeed, the range of emotions that she shows not only in The Savages, but in other films can leave no doubt at what a great actress she is. “Family is complicated and will always be,” says Linney. “The story takes on a family issue that has not been dealt with before.”


Wendy and Jon learn their father has no place to stay

The story of The Savages centers around Wendy, a struggling writer who takes temp jobs to sustain herself, and her brother Jon, a neurotic college professor who dreams of writing the great book, as they struggle with their dad’s dementia and finding a place for him to live now that his long term girlfriend has died. Neither of them have good memories of dad. Now they must put their arrested lives on hold to take care of him.

Wendy and Jon at a meeting for parent care

The guilt piles on as they battle how their dad wil spend his final days. In doing so, they learn a lot about each other that they had never known as they are forced into this journey confronting old age and each having opposite reactions. The brother and sister must come to terms with how Lenny was as a father and how it affected their lives and relationships now.  

Laura Linney (Wendy) Philip Seymour Hoffman (Jon) take dad Philip Bosco (Lenny) to a nursing home

The script is written by Tamara Jenkins who also wrote The Slums of Beverly Hills and was distributed by Fox Searchlight. The idea came to her as she watched her father develop dementia and she watched how her family and others adapted to the older parent.   The raw emotions were laced with humor and tragedy of real life just as her script.  Ted Hope , who produced the film, had given her carte blanc to write about what she wanted.

Linney’s previous award was from The Squid and The Whale and she was last seen in Man of the Year with Robin Williams.

Laura Linney

Prior to the screening of the film to the packed audience, Laura was interviewed on stage for an hour before as various writers, directors and producers extolled her illustrious career.  She has acted besides so many and varied leading men and with each her skills and talent has grown.  Her roles have been numerous and varied from tentpole movies to independents like this one.

Having been a midwest girl and growing up on the prairie, Laura had never really thought of a Hollywood careet but it had found her.  She talked about her tire swing and raising chickens on her parents farm.  No one else in her family had had movie aspriations but once the bug had bitten, Laura knew that she had to pursue it wholeheartedly...and we, as fans, are glad that she did.

For more information about the movie go to

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