Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Savages


An actor’s field day, and a pretty good movie. (I hate the title, though. I expected it to be about savagery, but it’s just the name of the family. If there was some deeper, symbolic meaning, I missed it.) Two adult children have to take care of their father, who is descending into dementia. He was never a good father, they don’t like him, and he has warped their ability to have relationships with others. For some reason the daughter still feels tremendous guilt at putting him into a quite nice assisted care or nursing facility. The movie is unsentimental. There’s nothing to like about this asshole, as there is in so many movies about Alzheimer’s and related horrors of aging. I like that about it, and also that the message is not that putting people in facilities like this is an awful thing to do. Sometimes you just have to preserve your sanity. Both Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney are very good. Linney got a Best Actress nomination.