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The Savages (film)

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Genre  Comedy, Drama
Initial DVD release  May 28, 2008 (Iceland)
Writer  Tamara Jenkins
Language  English
7.2/10 IMDb

Director  Tamara Jenkins
Screenplay  Tamara Jenkins
Country  United States
Savage Streets movie poster
Release date  November 28, 2007 (2007-11-28)
Cast  Laura Linney (Wendy Savage), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Jon Savage), Philip Bosco (Lenny Savage), Cara Seymour (Kasia), Peter Friedman (Larry), Jennifer Lim (Manicurist #1)
Similar movies  The Celebration, Trade, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Anna and the King, The Last Song, The Quiet

The savages trailer

The Savages is a 2007 American independent comedy-drama film written and directed by Tamara Jenkins. It stars Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Alexander Payne and Jenkins' husband Jim Taylor were two of the executive producers. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim.


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After drifting apart emotionally over the years, two single siblings — Wendy (Linney) and Jon (Hoffman) — 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 attend the funeral of their father's girlfriend of 20 years. When they arrive, they are told that their father signed a non-marriage agreement and will not have rights to any of her property. They then move him to a nursing home in Buffalo, 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.

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Neither of the siblings are close with Lenny. It is implied that he was a physically and emotionally abusive father when Jon and Wendy were growing up and they cut him out of their lives. They were also abandoned by their mother at a young age. 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.

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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 has broken up with her married lover, but has adopted his dog, which he had planned to put down. She is also seen working on the production of her play about their terrible childhood, while Jon is leaving for a conference in Poland where it is suggested he may reconnect with the woman he had let go. The film closes with Wendy running with her lover's dog alive, running with the aid of a wheeled hip cast, suggesting a mode of flawed yet persevering life for both siblings.


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  • Laura Linney as Wendy Savage
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman as Jon Savage
  • Philip Bosco as Lenny Savage
  • Peter Friedman as Larry
  • Guy Boyd as Bill Lachman
  • Debra Monk as Nancy Lachman
  • Margo Martindale as Roz
  • Rosemary Murphy as Doris Metzger
  • David Zayas as Eduardo
  • Gbenga Akinnagbe as Jimmy
  • Tonye Patano as Mrs. Robinson
  • Cara Seymour as Kasia
  • Kristine Nielsen as Nurse
  • Critical reception

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    The film received very favorable reviews from critics. As of October 14, 2012, the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 89% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 113 reviews. Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 85 out of 100, based on 35 reviews.

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    Time magazine's Richard Schickel named the film #7 of his Top 10 Movies of 2007, and praises both the cast and writer-director:

    The Savages (film) movie poster

    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.

    Top ten lists

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    The film appeared on many critics' top 10 lists of the best films of 2007.

    The Savages (film) movie scenes
  • 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

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  • 80th Academy Awards
  • Academy Award for Best Actress (Laura Linney)
  • Academy Award for Best 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 Film Critics Circle Awards
  • Best Actress (Laura Linney) -- WON
  • Writers Guild of America Awards
  • Best Original Screenplay (Tamara Jenkins)

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    Savage Streets movie scenes
    Savage Streets movie scenes
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    Savage Streets movie scenes
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    The Savages (film) movie poster
    The Savages (film) movie scenes
    The Savages (film) movie scenes


    The Savages (film) Wikipedia
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