Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Savages

Occasionally I see a film that moves me in terms of its honesty and utter closeness to reality. Seeing The Savages tonight was definitely one of those times, and I was completely taken by the film's graceful ability to capture the nuances of family dynamics and aging with absolutely no unnecessary sentimentality.

To avoid giving away major plot points, I will simply say that both Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney beautifully and realistically portray the angst that adult children experience as parents age, especially when said children are faced with making choices for aging parents that never seem quite good enough. Phillip Bosco does an amazing job of portraying a man with increasing dementia as he evolves into his disease state, surrendering to it while still experiencing moments of clarity which only serve to make his situation that much more poignant.

To the director's credit, the griminess of low-income nursing homes, diners, hospitals, and urban apartments is very painstakingly portrayed. Equally well-portrayed are the frayed nerves, exasperation, and desperation of children who only want the best for their aging and infirm parents, even when those parents have been less than perfect over the years.

The movie is, in my opinion, simply perfect in every sense, and I expect to see it again over time in order to glean even more from the stellar performances, brilliant writing, and flawless direction.
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