AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
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The Savages
Director: Tamara Jenkins (Dir)
Release Date:   2007
Premiere Information:   Sundance Film Festival screening: 19 Jan 2007; AFI Fest screening: 9 Nov 2007; New York and Los Angeles openings: 28 Nov 2007
Production Date:   10 Apr 2006--early Jun 2006
Duration (in mins):   113-114
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Cast:   Laura Linney (Wendy Savage)  
    Philip Seymour Hoffman (Jon Savage)  
    Philip Bosco (Lenny Savage)  
    Peter Friedman (Larry)  
    David Zayas (Eduardo)  
    Gbenga Akinnagbe (Jimmy)  
    Cara Seymour (Kasia)  
    Tonye Patano (Ms. Robinson)  
    Guy Boyd (Bill Lachman)  
    Debra Monk (Nancy Lachman)  
    Rosemary Murphy (Doris Metzger)  
    Hal Blankenship (Burt)  
    Joan Jaffe (Lizzie)  
    Laura Palmer (Real estate agent)  
    Salem Ludwig (Mr. Sperry)  
    Sandra Daley (Attendant)  
    Peter Frechette (Matt)  
    Jennifer Lim (Manicurist)  
    Kristine Nielsen (Nurse)  
    Christopher Durham (Doctor)  
    Maddie Corman (Annie)  
    Cynthia Darlow (Nurse #2)  
    Carmen Roman (Administrator)  
    Nancy Lenehan (Counselor)  
    Michael Higgins (Resident #1)  
    Madeline Lee (Resident #2)  
    Tijuana Ricks (Valley View nurse)  
    Margo Martindale (Roz)  
    Erica Berg (Woman in parking lot)  
    Michael Blackson (Howard)  
    Sidné Anderson (Simone)  
    Patti Karr (Woman with red pillow)  
    John Bolton (Father in mall lot)  
    Zoe Kazan (Student)  
    Lee Sellars (Father)  
    Marianne Weems (Director)  
    Tobin Tyler (Valley View nurse #2)  
    Debbi Fuhrman (Physical therapist)  
    Lili Liu (Manicurist #2)  
    Max Jenkins-Goetz (Boy)  
    Sun City Poms    

Summary: In the desert retirement community of Sun City, Arizona, elderly Lenny Savage is eating breakfast when Eduardo, the home health worker who is caring for Lenny’s elderly, live-in girl friend, Doris Metzger, reprimands him for not having flushed the toilet. When Eduardo takes his cereal away and insists that he clean up after himself, the disgruntled Lenny goes into bathroom and writes “prick” on the wall with his own excrement. In New York, Lenny’s thirty-nine-year-old daughter Wendy uses her time at a temporary office job to apply for a Guggenheim fellowship to complete her “subversive, semiautobiographical” play about a brother and sister who grow up with an abusive father after their depressed mother abandons the family. When Wendy returns to her East Village apartment, she is visited by her married neighbor, Larry, with whom she is having an affair. Before going to bed with Larry, Wendy impulsively lies and tells him that she has just found out that her Pap smear results were not normal. After Larry leaves, Wendy notices her answering machine light blinking, and after listening to the message from Nancy Lachman, Doris’s daughter, saying that Lenny is having problems, Wendy phones her forty-three-year-old brother Jon in Buffalo. Jon is not overly concerned, but the siblings agree to go to Sun City to see their father. The following day, Doris is getting a manicure when she suddenly dies. Later, Wendy and Jon meet at the Phoenix airport. Jon is a college theater professor who has been working for a long time on a book about Bertolt Brecht. Jon says that Kasia, his girl friend of three years, has to move back to Poland because her visa has expired, and Wendy is surprised that Jon will not marry Kasia so she can stay in the country. When the siblings arrive at Doris’s suburban home, Nancy and her husband Bill inform them that Lenny has been moved to a hospital, adding that Jon and Wendy will have to find somewhere else for their father to live. Bill explains that the house belonged to Doris, and although she and Lenny had lived together for 20 years, they had signed an agreement to keep their property separate. Jon and Wendy go to the hospital, where they find Lenny restrained in bed. He is confused and belligerent, and the doctor explains that Lenny has dementia. After Jon leaves for Buffalo to make arrangements for Lenny's care, Wendy goes to Doris’s house, which is already on the market, and sorts through her father’s possessions, helping herself to a bottle of painkillers that had belonged to Doris. Later, Jon calls Wendy from Buffalo and says he has found a nursing home there that can take Lenny. Wendy checks the bewildered Lenny out of the hospital, and they board a plane to New York. In the middle of the flight, Lenny loudly announces that he has to go to the bathroom. As Wendy is leading Lenny down the aisle, his pants fall down, revealing his swollen ankles and baggy diapers. Jon picks them up at the airport and they drive silently to the nursing home, where a compassionate Jamaican nurse takes Lenny to his room and introduces him to his roommate. As they leave the nursing home, Wendy cries because Lenny does not know where he is, and says that she and Jon are horrible people. Jon points out that he and Wendy are taking better care of their father than he ever took of them. As she settles in for the night on Jon’s couch, Wendy peruses some nursing home brochures she found in Jon’s room earlier and finds one she believes would be better. In the morning, as Lenny indifferently participates in a group exercise class, Wendy and Jon meet with the nursing home administrator and are taken aback when asked about their father’s wishes regarding life-saving measures and funeral arrangements. They take Lenny out to a diner to discuss these matters, and Lenny, who thought he was staying in a hotel, is stunned to learn that he is in a nursing home. They return to Jon’s home and Wendy talks with Kasia, who accepts her imminent departure with wry resignation. The following morning, Jon cries while eating the breakfast Kasia has cooked for him, then drives her to the airport. Wendy’s forwarded mail arrives, and she tells a surprised Jon that she has been awarded a Guggenheim fellowship to work on her play. Later, Jon and Wendy go to a support group for people with family members who suffer from dementia. The counselor suggests engaging elderly relatives by sharing mementos from their past, such as old movies. The siblings host a movie night at the nursing home, where they screen The Jazz Singer . Lenny watches the film attentively, but thinks some of the characters are his parents and yells at the father for smacking him around as a child. The evening ends awkwardly when the scene of Al Jolson applying blackface offends the mostly black nursing home staff and some of the guests. The next day, at Wendy’s insistence, they take Lenny to Greenhill Manor, the high-end assisted-living facility whose brochure impressed her, for a preadmission interview. Lenny does his best to conceal his disorientation, but he cannot answer the interviewer’s questions. With no hope of moving Lenny to another facility, Wendy proceeds to redecorate his room at the nursing home, brightening it up with throw pillows and a lava lamp. The following week, Larry comes to Buffalo to deliver Wendy’s cat, Genghis. They spend the day together, visiting Niagara Falls and taking Larry’s dog, Marley, to the park. They end up in a motel, where Wendy accuses Larry of having a mid-life crisis. Larry replies that Wendy is betraying herself by forsaking real intimacy for an affair with a married man, and she furiously walks out on him. Wendy is still in a bad mood when she brings Genghis to stay with Lenny at the home, and she is comforted by Jimmy, a sweet-natured Nigerian orderly. They sit in his van to share a cigarette and talk, and Jimmy asks to read one of Wendy’s plays. Later, Jon tells Wendy that the Guggenheim Foundation announced the names of its fellowship recipients, and her name was not on the list. He says he then called the foundation and learned that Wendy has been rejected eight times. Wendy, who lied about the grant because Jon has been dismissive of her work, reluctantly admits that she has collected disaster assistance benefits from the Federal Emergency Management Agency on the grounds that temp work was not available after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Jon reproaches her for taking the money, and the siblings argue angrily. Late one night, Jon gets a call saying that Genghis got into a fight with the resident nursing home cat. Wendy goes to collect her cat and visits with Jimmy, who tells her that he liked her play but found it sad. Wendy impulsively kisses Jimmy, but he gently tells her that he has a girl friend. Later, Lenny’s condition declines, and Jon and Wendy keep vigil at his bedside until he quietly passes away. The siblings return to Jon’s home and pass the night in wordless sorrow. The next day, Wendy takes the bus back to the East Village. Larry comes by with flowers and sadly tells Wendy that his beloved Marley is scheduled to be put down the following day, explaining that fixing the dog’s bad hips would require surgery and a difficult recovery period. Wendy tearfully embraces Larry but does not go to bed with him. As Larry is walking away, Wendy calls after him and says she wants to ask him a question. Six months later, Wendy’s play is in rehearsal at an Off-Broadway theater, and she watches a scene in which a little boy, whose father is beating him, floats above the room. Jon, who is also watching the rehearsal, is greatly moved. Outside the theater, Jon tells Wendy he is about to leave for Poland to deliver a paper on Brecht and will meet up with Kasia while he is there. Later, Wendy goes running by the river, accompanied by a happy, recovering Marley, whose back legs are in a brace with wheels. 

Production Company: This Is That  
  Ad Hominem Enterprises  
  Cooper's Town Productions  
  Lone Star Film Group  
Distribution Company: Fox Searchlight Pictures (A News Corporation Company)
Director: Tamara Jenkins (Dir)
  Chip Signore (1st asst dir)
  Jesse Nye (2d asst dir)
  Alfonso Trinidad (2d asst dir)
  Christopher Carroll (2d asst dir, Buffalo unit)
  Nicholas Bell (2d 2d asst dir)
Producer: Ted Hope (Prod)
  Anne Carey (Prod)
  Erica Westheimer (Prod)
  Alexander Payne (Exec prod)
  Jim Taylor (Exec prod)
  Jim Burke (Exec prod)
  Anthony Bregman (Exec prod)
  Fred Westheimer (Exec prod)
  Lori Keith Douglas (Co-prod)
Writer: Tamara Jenkins (Wrt)
Photography: Mott Hupfel (Dir of photog)
  Peter Agliata (Cam op)
  Will Arnot (Steadicam op, Arizona unit)
  Dan Hersey (1st asst cam)
  David Flanigan (2d asst cam/B cam 1st asst)
  Von Scott (2d asst cam, Arizona unit)
  Gerard Kawczynski (2d asst cam, Buffalo unit)
  John Yirak (1st asst B cam, Arizona unit)
  Elisa Vasquez (Cam loader/B cam 2d asst)
  Kevin Kilcher (Loader, Buffalo unit)
  Ian Carmody (B cam loader)
  Giacomo Belletti (Cam dept intern)
  Ken Shibata (Gaffer)
  Leighton Edmondson (Best boy elec)
  Dave Bull (Best boy elec, Buffalo unit)
  Joe Czerw (Elec)
  Nina Kuhn (Elec)
  Iris Ng (Elec)
  Mike Aufiero (Elec, Arizona unit)
  James Bastian (Elec, Arizona unit)
  Jeff Clark (Elec, Arizona unit)
  Erik Koski (Elec, Arizona unit)
  Robert McKay (Elec, Arizona unit)
  Geoff Nangle (Elec, Arizona unit)
  Michael Tesfai (Elec, Arizona unit)
  Jeremy Wren (Elec, Arizona unit)
  Bart Durkin (Elec, Buffalo unit)
  W. Frank Stubblefield (Generator op)
  Jimmy MacMillan (Key grip)
  Dave McAllister (Best boy grip)
  Rick Seeberg (Best boy grip, Buffalo unit)
  Dan Beaman (Dolly grip)
  Gary Shaw (Dolly grip, Arizona unit)
  Anthony Arnaud (Grip)
  Divine Cox (Grip)
  Steve Pelequin (Grip)
  Jay Coolidge (Grip, Arizona unit)
  Mike Frederickson (Grip, Arizona unit)
  Scott Hess (Grip, Arizona unit)
  Travis Holt Hamilton (Grip, Arizona unit)
  Travis Quegan (Grip, Arizona unit)
  Joe Bunce (Grip, Buffalo unit)
  Andy Schwartz (Still photog)
  Mark Fellman (Still photog, Arizona unit)
  Dennis Green (24-frame playback)
  Creative Mega Playground (Dailies telecine)
  Technicolor, New York (Film dailies)
  Arricam (Cameras by)
  Camera Service Center (Cam and lighting equipment by)
  ARRIFLEX Cameras (Filmed with)
Art Direction: Jane Ann Stewart (Prod des)
  Suttirat Larlarb (Art dir)
  Mario Ventenilla (Art dir)
  Vanessa Merrill (Art dept coord)
  Ariel Chudzikiewicz (Art dept intern)
  Michael Rosebush-Dicenzo (Art dept intern)
  Tracy Sagalow (Art dept intern, Arizona unit)
  Rob Pierson (Art swing, Arizona unit)
Film Editor: Brian A. Kates (Film ed)
  Ali Muney (Asst ed)
  Stan Sztaba (Negative cutter)
  World Cinevision (Negative cutter)
Set Decoration: Carrie Stewart (Set dec)
  Matt Callahan (Set dec, Arizona unit)
  Joseph F. Proscia (Leadman)
  Sam Gutierrez (Leadman, Arizona unit)
  Anu Schwartz (On set dresser)
  Steve Caterelli (Set dresser)
  Karnig Poryazian (Set dresser)
  Kyle Salvatore (Set dresser)
  Rich Fuentes (Set dresser, Arizona unit)
  Jeff Butcher (Prop master)
  Chris Russhon (Prop master, Arizona unit)
  Olenka Denysenko (1st asst props)
  Kley Gilbuena (2d asst props)
  Jon Scardino (Asst props, Buffalo unit)
  Keith Mosca (Prop asst, Arizona unit)
  Jayme Schere (Props intern, Arizona unit)
  Martin Bernstein (Const coord)
  Malcolm Reid (Const foreman)
  Sam Burell (Key const grip)
  Glenn Bowen (Const grip)
  Alan J. Lawson (Charge scenic)
  Stuart E. Auld (Lead scenic)
  Jesse Walker (Cam scenic)
  Bruce McNally (Scenic)
  Christine Skubish (Scenic)
  Daniel Ciampa (Scenic)
  Jessica Nissen (Scenic)
  Cathy Wassylenko (Scenic)
  Nili Lerner (Scenic)
Costumes: David Robinson (Cost des)
  Joanna Brett (Asst cost des)
  Jill Graves (Ward supv)
  Meredith M. Driscoll (Key cost)
  Maggie McFarland (Cost, Arizona unit)
  Adam Butera (Ward asst)
  Jennifer Carnival (Ward intern)
  Casa Wilson (Ward intern)
  James Bastian (Ward intern, Arizona unit)
Music: Stephen Trask (Mus)
  Randall Poster (Mus supv)
  Amanda Goodpaster (Mus ed)
  Joseph Bonn (Mus ed)
  Jim Dunbar (Music coord)
  Damon Intrabartolo (Orch)
  Tim O'Heir (Score mixer)
  Tim O'Heir (Score rec eng)
  Greg Hayes (Score rec eng)
  Patricia Feliciano (Asst eng)
Sound: Mathew Price (Prod sd mixer)
  Nick Allen (Prod sd mixer, Arizona unit)
  Paul Koronkiewicz (Boom op)
  Ron Wright (Boom op, Arizona unit)
  Jan McLaughlin (Sd utility)
  Timothia Sellers (Sd utility)
  Diana Cleland (Sd utility, Arizona unit)
  Ben Cheah (Supv sd ed)
  Eric McAllister (Asst sd ed)
  Jacob Ribicoff (Supv dial ed)
  Andrea Horta (ADR supv)
  John Werner (Foley ed)
  Heather Gross (Sd eff ed)
  Marko Costanzo (Foley artist)
  George A. Lara (Foley eng)
  C5, Inc. (Foley rec at)
  Sound One, Inc. (ADR rec at)
  Soundtracks, New York (ADR rec at)
  Wilshire Stages (ADR rec at)
  Wendy Hoffman (Loop group coord)
  Steve Alterman (Loop group coord)
  Dominick Tavella (Re-rec mixer)
  Robert Fernandez (Re-rec mixer)
  Ben Cheah (Re-rec mixer)
  Sound One, Inc. (Post-prod sd facility)
  Widget Post (Post-prod sd facility)
Special Effects: JC Brotherhood (Spec eff coord)
  Mike Murphy (Spec eff asst)
  Donnie Creighton (Digital laboratory project mgr)
  Ryan Helsley (Digital laboratory project mgr)
  Valance Eisleben (Digital data conform)
  Michael Castillo (Digital VFX supv)
  Andrew Goodney (Engineering support)
  Big Film Design (Title seq des)
  Randy Balsmeyer (Title seq des)
  J. John Corbett (Title seq des)
Make Up: Stacey Panepinto (Key makeup artist)
  Casandra Keating (Makeup asst)
  Dionne Pitsikoulis (Makeup asst)
  Loretta James-Demasi (Makeup asst, Arizona unit)
  Jason Hayes (Key hairstylist)
  Shannon Harrington (Addl hairstylist)
  Claudia Breckinridge (Hair asst, Arizona unit)
Production Misc: Jeanne McCarthy (Casting)
  Nicole Abellera (Casting assoc)
  Morgan Donaho (Casting asst)
  Kee Casting (Extras casting)
  Karen E. Etcoff (Extras casting)
  Bill Tripician (Extras casting assoc)
  Faith Hibbs-Clark (Extras casting, Arizona unit)
  Kit Abate (Casting intern, Arizona unit)
  Robin Nelson Sweet (Unit prod mgr)
  Meghan K. Wicker (Prod coord)
  Alison Davis (Asst prod coord)
  Mike Ryan (Prod supv, Arizona unit)
  Tim Clarke (Prod liaison, Buffalo unit)
  Priti Trivedi (Prod secy)
  Connie Hoy (Prod office coord, Arizona unit)
  Andrew Putnam-Nelson (Asst prod office coord, Arizona unit)
  Michael Lizzio (Office prod asst)
  Josh Bluth (Office prod asst, Arizona unit)
  Gary Phillips (Office prod asst, Arizona unit)
  Jill Landrith (Dir/Prod intern, Arizona unit)
  Lisa Arbuckle (Prod intern, Arizona unit)
  Julie Holman (Prod intern, Arizona unit)
  Anthony Cauchy (Prod office intern)
  Nikki Hung (Prod office intern)
  Zachary Kuchniki (Prod office intern)
  Morgan Roche (Prod office intern)
  Shylo Shaner (Prod office intern)
  Jonathan Ferrantelli (Post prod supv)
  Brian McNulty (Post prod consultant)
  Franziska Blatner (Post prod intern)
  Stephanie DiChiara (Post prod intern)
  Matthew Engler (Post prod intern)
  Louise Ford (Post prod intern)
  Fiorella Glave (Post prod intern)
  Amelia Golden (Post prod intern)
  Jamie Gross (Post prod intern)
  Ned Harvey (Post prod intern)
  Sam Kretchmar (Post prod intern)
  Sharon Perlman (Post prod intern)
  Peter Shanel (Post prod intern)
  Aaron Sherman (Post prod intern)
  Jason Spencer (Post prod intern)
  Daniel Warlock (Post prod intern)
  Elizabeth Verghese (Prod accountant)
  Daniel Wagner (1st asst accountant)
  Chanel Jackson (Payroll accountant)
  JFA, Inc. (Post-prod accounting)
  John Finn (Post-prod accounting)
  Pete Hayes (Post-prod accounting)
  Axium (Payroll services provided by)
  Mariana Hellmund (Scr supv)
  Gracie Mendelsohn (Clearance coord)
  Mike King (Loc mgr)
  Steven Weisberg (Loc mgr)
  Robert W. Davis (Loc mgr, Arizona unit)
  Denton Hanna (Loc mgr, Arizona unit)
  Eric Wrolstad (Asst loc mgr)
  Kimberly Feinman (Asst loc mgr)
  Orit Greenberg (Loc asst)
  Oliver Refson (Loc asst)
  Prague Robert (Loc asst)
  Sascha Springer (Loc scout)
  Mitchell Gutman (Loc intern)
  Andrew Gallagher (Loc intern, Arizona unit)
  Jose Tejada (Parking coord)
  Erick Carpenter (Key prod asst, Arizona unit)
  Dave Harter (Prod asst, Buffalo unit)
  June McCarthy-Dimming (Prod asst, Buffalo unit)
  Laura Felschow (Prod asst, Buffalo unit)
  Nick Adrian (Prod asst, Buffalo unit)
  Ryan Detzel (Prod asst, Buffalo unit)
  Thomas Gaito (Key set prod asst)
  Jyota Bertrang (Set prod asst)
  Angela Cutrone (Set prod asst)
  Angela How (Set prod asst)
  Corey "Complex" Roberts (Set prod asst)
  Krystle Sosa (Set prod asst)
  Salvatore E. Sutera (Set prod asst)
  Kathryn Botkin (Set prod asst, Arizona unit)
  Jason Wozny (Set prod asst, Arizona unit)
  Rosemary Graham (Set prod asst, Arizona unit)
  Roze (Set prod asst, Arizona unit)
  Mark Mikutowicz (Asst to Ms. Jenkins)
  Kara Blanchard (Asst to Mr. Hope)
  Claire Pacacha (Asst to Ms. Carey)
  Justine Cogan (Asst to Ms. Westheimer)
  Anna Musso (Asst to Mr. Burke)
  Stefanie Azpiazu (Asst to Mr. Bregman)
  Gourmet To U (Caterer)
  Catering Excellence (Caterer, Arizona unit)
  Anthony Torre (Chef)
  Patrick Barile (Craft service)
  Ryan Bua (Craft service asst)
  Peter Clores (Transportation capt)
  Danny Boy Paustian (Transportation co-capt)
  Steve Wagner (Transportation coord, Arizona unit)
  Jim Lembo (New York driver)
  Jim Kelly (New York driver)
  Gerard Maggio (New York driver)
  Rich Marino (New York driver)
  Bob Johnson (New York driver)
  John Sinnot (New York driver)
  Paul Castiglioni (New York driver)
  Ed Battista (New York driver)
  Mike O'Brien (New York driver)
  Herb Liberz (New York driver)
  Rich Hubka (New York driver)
  Ken Johnson (New York driver)
  Scott Roth (New York driver)
  John Palumbo (New York driver)
  Steve McAuliff (Animals by)
  Kim Krafsky (Animals by)
  Frankfurt, Kurnit, Klein, Selz, PC (Legal services provided by)
  Dr. Reiff & Associates (Insurance provided by)
  Film Finances, Inc. (Completion bond)
  Silvercup Studios (Stage facilities)
  Tracey Zemitis (Pub)
Stand In: Mike Russo (Stunt coord)
  Roy Farfel (Stunt rigging)
  Stephen Mann (Stunt rigging)
  Brian Smyj (Stunt rigging)
Color Personnel: LaserPacific A KODAK COMPANY (Digital scanning, film rec and digitial intermediate services)
  David Cole (Digital intermediate timer)
  Doug Jaqua (Col science)
MPAA Rating: R
Country: United States
Language: English

Music:
Songs: “Cheek to Cheek,” written by Irving Berlin, performed by Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks; “On a Slow Boat to China,” written by Frank Loesser, performed by Eddy Howard, courtesy of Mercury Records, under license from Universal Music Enterprises; “Soldadi,” written by Rudolphe Gromis, performed by Orchestra Baobob, courtesy of Nonesuch Records/World Circuit, by arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing; “Sentimental Lady,” written by Bob Welch, performed by Bob Welch, courtesy of Capital Records, under license from EMI Film & Television Music; “I’m Sticking with You,” written by Lou Reed, performed by The Velvet Underground, courtesy of Universal Records, under license from Universal Music Enterprises; “I Don’t Want to Play in Your Yard,” written by Henry Petrie, Philip Wingate and Dick Manning, performed by Peggy Lee, courtesy of Decca Records, under license from Universal Music Enterprises; “Salomon-Song” (from The Three Penny Opera ), written by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, performed by Lotte Lenya and the Sender Freies Berlin Orchestra, conducted by Wilhelm Bruckner-Reggebergt, courtesy of Sony BMG Masterworks, by arrangement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment; “Sitting by the Riverside,” written by Ray Davies, performed by The Kinks, courtesy of Sanctuary Records; “You Make Me Feel So Young,” written by Mack Gordon and Josef Myrow, performed by Hal Blankenship & Joan Jaffe, with Timo Elliston on piano and Saadi Zain on bass; “Two of a Kind,” written by Johnny Mercer and Bobby Darin, performed by Hal Blankenship & Joan Jaffe, with Timo Elliston on piano and Saadi Zain on bass.
Composer: Irving Berlin [film ed]
  Bertolt Brecht
  Bobby Darin
  Ray Davies
  Mack Gordon
  Rudolphe Gromis
  Frank Loesser
  Dick Manning
  Johnny Mercer
  Josef Myrow
  Henry Petrie
  Lou Reed
  Kurt Weill
  Bob Welch
  Philip Wingate
Source Text:

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation 28/11/2007 dd/mm/yyyy PA0001589921

PCA NO: 43278
Physical Properties: Sd: Dolby Digital; SDDS Sony Dynamic Digital Sound; dts Digital Sound in selected theatres
  col: Technicolor; Film provided by Eastman Kodak

 
Genre: Drama
 
Subjects (Major): Aged persons
  Brothers and sisters
  Family relationships
  Maturation
  Nursing homes
  Senility
 
Subjects (Minor): Africans
  Arizona
  Buffalo (NY)
  Cats
  Death and dying
  Dogs
  Grief
  Infidelity
  The Jazz Singer (Motion picture)
  Loneliness
  Memory
  New York City--Greenwich Village
  Orderlies (Hospital)
  Playwrights
  Poles
  Professors

Note: In the opening credits, Tamara Jenkins’s credit, "written and directed by," comes immediately after the film's title card, rather than the more usual placement as the last credit before the action begins. The opening credits run over footage of the Sun City Poms, a group of elderly women dressed as cheerleaders and performing a routine. The Savages was Jenkins’s first feature film since her 1998 debut, Slums of Beverly Hills . The director, who described The Savages as a "coming of middle age" story in the press notes for its screening at Sundance, also said in a 4 Nov 2007 LAT interview that both her father and grandmother had suffered from dementia and died in nursing homes.
       A 29 Oct 2007 Var article provided the following information about the film’s production: Jenkins first wrote a five-page scene from The Savages in 1997. She later wrote the screenplay under a development deal with Focus Features, but Focus objected to Jenkins’s insistence on casting Laura Linney, as well as Philip Seymour Hoffman, who had not yet achieved fame for his Oscar-winning performance in Capote (2005, see above). Focus released Jenkins from her deal, after which talent agency CAA made a deal with equity investor Lone Star Film Group to provide half of the budget. After Hoffman won the Golden Globe for Capote , Fox Searchlight put up an additional $4 million. Cooper's Town Productions is Hoffman's production company. Portions of the film were shot on location in Sun City, AZ, New York City and Buffalo, NY. An online source adds Bob Huff, Elaine Huff and Alyssa Waldrip to the cast.
       The Savages had its premiere at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and subsequently was shown at the Toronto International Film Festival, AFI Fest and the Turin Film Festival. The picture received overwhelmingly positive reviews, with a number of critics praising its dry humor and lack of sentimentality. Newsweek critic David Ansen wrote, “There’s nothing mawkish about The Savages : Jenkins’s sweet and tart sensibility is located halfway between the compassionate satire of an Alexander Payne and the comic sang-froid of a Todd Solondz.” Manohla Dargis of NYT stated that although the film initially called to mind “another of those dreaded indie encounter sessions in which everyone cracks wise and weary on the bumpy road to self-actualization…. There isn’t a single moment of emotional guff or sentimentality."
       In addition to being selected as one of AFI’s Movies of the Year for 2007, The Savages was listed among the Top Ten Independent Films by the National Board of Review and was awarded Best Screenplay of 2007 by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Jenkins received a Writers Guild of America nomination for her original screenplay. The film received the following Film Independent Spirit Award nominations: Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Male Lead for Hoffman. Hoffman was also nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture--Comedy or Musical. The Savages was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and Laura Linney was nominated for Best Actress.  

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Arizona Republic   21 Dec 2007   Section P, p. 1, 5.
Daily Variety   22 Jan 2007   p. 6, 14.
Daily Variety   8 Nov 2007.   
Daily Variety   27 Nov 2007.   
Daily Variety   30 Nov 2007   p. 4, 52.
Entertainment Weekly   30 Nov 2007   pp. 24-25, 114.
Hollywood Reporter   18 Apr 2006.   
Hollywood Reporter   2 May 2006.   
Hollywood Reporter   31 May 2006.   
Hollywood Reporter   22 Jan 2007   p. 15, 25.
Los Angeles Times   26 Jan 2007.   
Los Angeles Times   4 Nov 2007.   
Los Angeles Times   28 Nov 2007   Calendar, p. 1, 7.
New York Observer   3 Dec 2007   Section C, p. 12.
Newsweek   3 Dec 2007   p. 59.
Sight and Sound   Jan 2008   pp. 83-84.
Screen International   26 Jan 2007.   
Variety   29 Jan 2007   p. 40, 50.
Variety   29 Oct 2007   p. 14, 22.

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