A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
A woman conducts a long-standing affair with a married man; a father rubs feces on a bathroom wall; adult siblings hesitate when faced with helping their estranged father -- who was emotionally abusive when they were children. Characters also lie and behave in other iffy ways (taking someone else's prescription medication, for example). But for the most part, everyone behaves as decently as they're able, especially Jon and Wendy, who take on the challenge of caring for their father despite the fact that he was no prince when they were growing up.
Violence & Scariness
No real violence, but some shouting among family members and some scenes depicting neglect of children.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A married man sleeps with a woman who's not his wife a few times; they're shown on a bed ostensibly naked under covers, and the woman takes off her top and sits around with just her bra and pants on while talking. A few references to "hard-ons" and the genital area and other frank sex talk.
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Plenty of strong language, including "s--t," "f--k," "damn," and more.
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Products & Purchases
Signage for the nursing homes, as well as snippets from an ad. Bertolt Brecht's name is bandied about, as are foundations like the Guggenheim.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults smoke cigarettes and take prescription pills owned by a deceased person (one of the lead characters filches them).
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this mature, darkly funny drama about an estranged family isn't kid friendly. There's cursing (including "f--k" and "s--t"), an adulterous affair, frank talk about sex and death, smoking, and prescription drug use (pills stolen from a dead person, no less). All of that said, older teens and adults may find much to admire in this thought-provoking story, which approaches a harsh subject -- the impending death of a neglectful parent -- with a gentle-but-honest touch. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Left in the hands of actors less agile and able than Hoffman and Linney, Jon and Wendy easily could have been reduced to harshly drawn characters; thankfully, they rise to the occasion. Hoffman is aloof yet appealing, while Linney is anxious yet persevering. Bosco, too, communicates volumes without doing too much; asked what to do if he falls into a coma, he quickly moves from indignant to angry to deeply sad, his eyes the only real giveaway.
The Savages' power comes from its determination to skirt the maudlin despite its plainly sad narrative. Intense moments -- as when brother and sister ask their father what he'd like them to do in the event of his death -- are played for both dramatic and comic effect. It's a testament to Jenkins and her actors that the transitions go smoothly. Which makes The Savages a worthwhile (if mature) watch.
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Our Editors Recommend
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