lunes, 13 de octubre de 2008

The Savages (Tamara Jenkins /2007)

The Savages (Tamara Jenkins /2007)
Director: Tamara Jenkins.
Cast: Laura Linney (Wendy Savage), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Jon Savage), Philip Bosco (Lenny Savage), Cara Seymour (Kasia), Peter Friedman (Larry), Gbenga Akinnagbe (Jimmy), Tonye Patano (Srta. Robinson), Guy Boyd (Bill), David Zayas (Eduardo), Debra Monk (Nancy Lachman).
Writer: Tamara Jenkins.
Produced by: Ted Hope, Anne Carey y Erica Westheimer.
Director of Photography: Mott Hupfel.
Film Editing by: Brian A. Kates.
Music by: Stephen Trask.
Costume Design by: David C. Robinson.

The lives of Jenny and Jon Savage are about to change when they get news about his father´s needs for special care due to his delicate mental condition, so they consider putting him in a nursing home as the right decision. What they didn’t expect was that the situation would open the door to memories and emotions left behind long, long ago.

About the film

Tamara Jenkins has a film career consisting of two films. A short time ago on cable, we had the opportunity to watch Slums of Beverly Hills, about a penniless nomadic family. In his intent to improve their son’s education, a desperate father decides to frequently move in and out of various apartments in order to have their kids attending city schools in Beverly Hills. This act that could be taken as a noble intent by the father to give better opportunities to his family, actually represented his frustrated aspirations and effort to sustain an apparent success. In this film Jenkins already gave us examples of her corrosive spirit and capacity to expose her characters to the most absurd situations, always with an ironic tone. But with The Savages, Jenkins’ story acquires a few more obscure shades without losing black humor, which is introduced in the most unexpected situations and moments.

The Savages are intellectuals that employ all their energy just to avoid showing their emotions. They think that their boldness and intelligence allows them to be ironical, as well escape from ridiculousness and distinguish themselves from the rest. They think the have become experts hiding their miseries, though they haven’t really succeed at it. And perhaps that aspect relates the Savages with the Slums. Both families try so hard to hide who they are, to escape and avoid reality, that it finally ends up exposing them even more.
The Slums make a constant intent to live in Beverly Hills, even in the most deplorable apartments. The Savages, making fun of the rest by ridiculing their conventionalities, while they would madly love to attain any one of them.

If in the Greek tragedy, the main character confronted destiny forces and the cosmos, pretentiously thinking that he could change his destiny. In the contemporary tragedy, the outlook of our destiny does not correspond exclusively to external forces. The reason of our misery resides especially within us, in our fears, in our constant self destructive patterns. Jenkins´ direction and the knowledge she has about her story is projected in the detailed attention she pays to Laura Linney (Wendy Savage) and Philip Seymour Hoffman´s (Jon Savage) performances, each one of them had given birth to shades and particularities of the characters. They have known how to create in them, from the usual interpretations which undoubtedly has given the personal look that this whole film has. Don’t miss it.

Juan Gonzales.
Sept. 2008
La presente reseña ha sido traducida gracias a la generosidad de una serie de amigos, resultando esta la versión final, cualquier error, lo asume el autor de la reseña original.

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