I really like Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman has started to grow on me as well. They are the two actors who play siblings who need to take care of their ailing, elderly father in The Savages. I do not recall seeing a good movie about aging and dying since I took a sociology class on these very same topics four years ago. But this one brought up some of the things I learn. For example usually it is the oldest daughter who takes care physically of aging parents (by being present when needed), while sons prefer to contribute financially only and not get involved in the messy part of the process. The movie went along with this general trend and showed Linney’s emotionally complex characters being the driving force for making sure that their father is provided for.
I respect this movie, because it had the courage to show real drama, including the father not really being a nice guy (that was an understatement), Linney, being in a nonfunctional relationship, Hoffman in a very long distance relationship, the sur-reality of the struggle of finding one’s voice and place along with getting out from under the parental wing. This movie had as much honesty as ten other put together. It showed the inner work needed to survive in and outside a fractured family (even after dad’s death) in a superb way I haven’t seen in a decade. I will rewatch this movie again, when I feel too dumbed down by all the action movies I am watching nowadays. This makes me feel human, as it evokes emotions, memories, concerns and hopes that pure entertainment does not.