The Savage patriarch (Philip Bosco) needs a new place to stay; he’s been showing signs of losing his mental faculties and the dilemma of what to do about his situation brings his son and daughter (Philip Seymour Hoffman, Laura Linney) together for the first time in many months. Director Tamara Jenkins chooses a difficult path, avoids the clichés and hits the right tone; there’s tragicomedy in the whole awkward experience of watching family members who are basically strangers to each other try to accomplish something together. The actors convey the emotions very well, with Linney delivering the strongest performance as a thirtysomething woman who’s desperately hoping to find some sort of success in her life.
2007-U.S. 113 min. Color. Produced by Anne Carey, Ted Hope, Erica Westheimer. Written and directed by Tamara Jenkins. Cast: Laura Linney (Wendy Savage), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Jon Savage), Philip Bosco (Lenny Savage), Peter Friedman, David Zayas, Gbenga Akinnagbe.
Trivia: Co-executive produced by Alexander Payne.
Last word: “They came over to my apartment for rehearsal, which was very modest, as we only had three days in my apartment, and I was nervous and anxious. Laura came first and then the buzzer rang and I went downstairs and I brought up Phil, and then I was in the kitchen making coffee and overheard them talking in the living room and I thought (whispering) ‘I think this is going to work.’ They were just sort of chatting and saying ‘hi’ but I was steaming the milk in my little machine and thinking, ‘They sound good.'” (Jenkins, Coming Soon)