IBJ movie night: "The Savages"

December 17, 2007
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
If you picked up your tickets to see the preview of “The Savages,” the first IBJ Night at the Movies, please share your thoughts on the film after Monday night's screening.

And look to “Lou Harry’s A&E” for information on future screenings.
  • Dark comedy about a brother and sister in their 40s forced to put their dementia-suffering father into a nursing home. I laughed, I cried, and then I laughed again, best describes my reaction. Wendy and Matt lead pathetic lives of quiet desperation. The emptiness in their lives is heartbreaking. She's a struggling playwright seeking justification for her work and life from anyone but herself. Her sole and unsatisfactory relationship is with a married man 13 years her senior. He's a college professor with no outside interests other than spending his life working on an obscure book. Although he won't admit it, and mariage is out of the question, he loves a Polish woman whose paperwork expires and she's forced to return to Poland.

    This film provides an unvarnished glimpse at the ugliness of aging and the sorrow in store for children facing the prospect of putting one or both parents into a nursing home.
  • I'm glad so many IBJ readers were able to attend.
    The strongest thing for me about the film was how much was unsaid. This is a plot that could have so easily turned into a Lifetime movie, with each character having one clear motivation for his or her behavior. It's gutsy these days for a film's characters to be this muddy...and I mean that in a good way. They felt real, with a wide mix of pros and cons. I also appreciate that the nursing home and its workers weren't presented as evil.

    The only plot point I didn't buy was Wendy believing she could fake her Gugenheim fellowship. I think she would know her brother well enough to know he would find out the truth very quickly. Besides that, I bought it all.
  • Even though the siblings are dealing with an aging parent and all their other personal issues, this shouldn't be written off as just another movie about the subject of people with memory problems as so many of these have been released in recent years (The Notebook, Away from her, Iris, Evening--the last one isn't dementia so much as dying, but still has to do with memory). If not for the free pass (thanks!) I may not have seen this movie because there seem to be so many others like it, but I'm glad I did.

    I think this film made all those end of the year top 10 lists for good reason. Even parts that in real life would probably bring me to tears (and a few of the film's more serious moments did) were mostly done in a way that was still clever enough to enjoy without crying through the whole thing. The characters were flawed, but in a relatable way. They might have been annoying at times, but I could also understand where they were coming from in terms of dealing with their situation and hoped that things would somehow work out for them in the end (even if they lied and were self-absorbed, which may also have something to do with their relationship with their father they must now take care of, but the movie doesn't hit audiences over the head with that idea, other than a few hints here and there).

    And laughing at this movie despite the heavy subject matter is like looking back on something horrible after enough time has passed so the truly weird/inappropriate parts of what happened are finally OK to laugh at. Or maybe if I didn't laugh, I would have been sucked into the sad parts to the point of not enjoying the not-so-sad parts. If you miss this at the theater, at least try to check it out on DVD.

Post a comment to this blog

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
  1. I am not by any means judging whether this is a good or bad project. It's pretty simple, the developers are not showing a hardship or need for this economic incentive. It is a vacant field, the easiest for development, and the developer already has the money to invest $26 million for construction. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay property taxes just like the rest of the residents do. As well, an average of $15/hour is an absolute joke in terms of economic development. Get in high paying jobs and maybe there's a different story. But that's the problem with this ask, it is speculative and users are just not known.

  2. Shouldn't this be a museum

  3. I don't have a problem with higher taxes, since it is obvious that our city is not adequately funded. And Ballard doesn't want to admit it, but he has increased taxes indirectly by 1) selling assets and spending the money, 2) letting now private entities increase user fees which were previously capped, 3) by spending reserves, and 4) by heavy dependence on TIFs. At the end, these are all indirect tax increases since someone will eventually have to pay for them. It's mathematics. You put property tax caps ("tax cut"), but you don't cut expenditures (justifiably so), so you increase taxes indirectly.

  4. Marijuana is the safest natural drug grown. Addiction is never physical. Marijuana health benefits are far more reaching then synthesized drugs. Abbott, Lilly, and the thousands of others create poisons and label them as medication. There is no current manufactured drug on the market that does not pose immediate and long term threat to the human anatomy. Certainly the potency of marijuana has increased by hybrids and growing techniques. However, Alcohol has been proven to destroy more families, relationships, cause more deaths and injuries in addition to the damage done to the body. Many confrontations such as domestic violence and other crimes can be attributed to alcohol. The criminal activities and injustices that surround marijuana exists because it is illegal in much of the world. If legalized throughout the world you would see a dramatic decrease in such activities and a savings to many countries for legal prosecutions, incarceration etc in regards to marijuana. It indeed can create wealth for the government by collecting taxes, creating jobs, etc.... I personally do not partake. I do hope it is legalized throughout the world.

  5. Build the resevoir. If built this will provide jobs and a reason to visit Anderson. The city needs to do something to differentiate itself from other cities in the area. Kudos to people with vision that are backing this project.