Now that the fall television season is in full swing, I’m definitely seeing fewer movies. As the crapitude of the shows grows, though, the better big screen things look on our small screen. I’ve dropped several shows that I used to watch: Dirty Sexy Money, Terminator, America’s Test Kitchen, At the Movies. And I’m on the fence about Life and Bones; my crush on Damian Lewis is giving Life probably too much credit, though Alan Sepinwall thinks it merits attention, too. In the midst of so much mediocre tv, then, Tamara Jenkins’ The Savages was a welcome respite.
Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman are middle aged intellectuals who are suddenly forced to assume care of their aged estranged and increasingly demented father. The film handles dark subjects and complex characters with a light touch. It’s not so much bittersweet as refreshingly semi-sweet. One critic described it as a coming of middle-age story, a description I find apt. Linney and Hoffman were, as per their usual, terrific. A funny, thoughtful, thought-provoking little film.