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The Savages

February 17, 2008

Second of the double bill last Wednesday.

The Savages

Was a toss up between Juno and this- I went with this since I just love both Linney and Hoffman and they have done excellent jobs in other films.  As well- I know that there is some catchy music in Juno so didn’t want to be up all night looking at the different groups!

I was not disappointed- the acting was superb and Hoffman and Linney show how self-absorbed the characters are and how they are forced to relate to each other and their father again after years of no contact.  Linney plays the neurosis without overdoing it as Hoffman’s understated presence with the occasional fits of rage fit perfectly with the story.  The Father is very good as well in playing dementia…very accurate with what I have seen of my stepfather. 

Parts of the film did hit a bit close to home as my stepfather has Alzheimer’s and I have seen the work that is involved in looking after him.  At the moment it is my mother who is  doing the work at home along with a day-care that he goes to and I know that it can be very stressful for her.  

Some scenes are quite amusing- at the restaurant discussing the fathers options, at the support group with the cookies, the sex with the lover and her paying more attention to the dog, the stolen-from-a-dead-woman painkillers, and I nearly burst out loud with the red pillow scene. 

Ultimately, the film shows how we lie to ourselves to get by and put up facades to cover the cracks so the outside world can’t see them.  While it is a film dealing with a serious situation it ends on a rather life affirming beat and the focus of the film isn’t all about death.

Not everybody enjoyed the film as much as I did though- on the way out of the cinema I overheard a guy say to his girlfriend- ‘Was that only 2 hours?….that was the longest 2 hours of my life and I will not get them back.’  Well you can’t please everybody but this is two hours well spent and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Final thoughts- guilt- I have been rather neglectful to my family in the States of late and have been paying more attention to people that are at arms reach.

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