It’s every child’s dilemma: when to put the parents out to pasture.
Or as Dylan Thomas would have it, how to help them as they kick and
scream their way “into that good night.” Spiked with humor, death
is easier—or so we seem to feel in this society, where death is
often as closeted as atheism. Often the best way to get death out
into the open is to make it a punch line—and in Tamara Jenkins’ film
The Savages, the siblings who must deal with their father’s
impending demise find plenty to laugh about, even when yelling into
each other’s faces. With Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman
nicely underplaying the estranged siblings who have more in common
than they wish to admit, The Savages is as much about going
on and moving on as it is about the end.