Directed by Tamara Jenkins
USA 2007


Anybody who's even vaguely familiar with Peter Pan will know to expect arrested adolescence when introduced to a brother and sister pointedly named Jon and Wendy. But it's writer-director Tamara Jenkins's decision to change the family surname from Darling to Savage that truly speaks volumes. This no-bullshit approach well befits her subject, one so depressing and uncommercial that American movies have generally refused to go anywhere near it, even in passing: the trials of adult children who must suddenly care for a dementia-addled parent. Here, fortyish Jon (Philip Seymour Hoffman, really working the schlump), a college professor specializing in Brecht, and Wendy (Laura Linney, surprisingly manic), a failed playwright subsisting on temp work, must put aside decades of interpersonal rancor in order to tend to their ailing father, Lenny (Philip Bosco), whom they both resent for having been a distant and demanding figure throughout their motherless childhood. Squabbling and recriminations ensue, as do heated discussions on the amenities of various nursing homes and the wisdom of allowing poor, fading Dad to show The Jazz Singer in a facility staffed largely by black immigrants.

The Savages has been rapturously received, not entirely without reason — Linney and Hoffman are both typically excellent, mining coarse nuggets of emotional truth from the sediment created by years of buried discontent.

Excerpt from Mike D'Angelo's review at NervePop located HERE


Theatrical Release: January 19th, 2007 - Sundance Film Festival

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DVD Review: Twentieth Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution Twentieth Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:54:04 
Video 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.4 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1), DUB: Spanish (Dolby Digital 3.0)
Subtitles English (CC), French, Spanish, None

Release Information:
Studio: Twentieth Century Fox

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• Featurette: "About the Savages" (20:25)
• Two Extended Scenes (7:05)
• Gallery (Director snapshots)
• Trailers

DVD Release Date: April 22nd, 200
Keep Case
Chapters: 16



The dual-layered Fox DVD is quite competent. Detail shows strength and colors are typically SD-dull. This film is more about the content than any rousing technical visuals. It seems to support the theatrical edition very accurately - I see no digital manipulation. Contrast is acceptable. It is anamorphic is the 1.85:1 ratio and the disc is coded for region 1 in the NTSC standard.

There is an underused 5.1 track (and a Spanish DUB) offered in the audio department. Very clean and clear for the dialogue-driven script. There are optional English (CC), French or Spanish subtitles available.

Supplements include a decent, 20-minute, featurette entitled 'About the Savages' with input from director Jenkins and, the likes of, stars Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman. There are two cute, but inconsequential extended scenes and a snapshot gallery of Jenkins' personal 'making of...' photos.

The film? - yeah, lots of redeeming and truthful moments with some light, situational humor and given the excellent performances - I recommend watching.  

Gary W. Tooze


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Distribution Twentieth Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC


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