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The Sedona Film Festival premiered the new movie, “The Savages” last night. We managed to snare two seats and enjoyed a tremendously thought-provoking piece of work.

“The story is about confronting death and also about seizing the opportunities in your life, even in the smallest of ways,” says writer/director Tamara Jenkins. It’s an irreverent look at a family as they deal with one of modern life’s most bewildering and challenging experiences — dealing with an estranged, elderly parent.

The audience was a mix of baby boomers and older seniors and you could tell that they were experiencing the happenings on screen as more than just a movie. As funny as the dialogue could be, every conversation underscored the inescapable truth of our collective destinies.

I found one scene especially powerful: Laura Linney’s character is looking for the best end-of-life care center for her father, and is seduced by the brochure and promotional dvd of one place in particular. It turns out that they don’t have an opening at the time for a patient with dementia, but Linney’s brother, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, explains to her that it doesn’t matter. Their father, Philip Bosco, has already been moved into an adequate facility, and the bells and whistles of the more picturesque nursing home are designed for the family’s comfort, not the patient’s. Sad, but true.

“The Savages” opens in New York and L.A. in about 3 weeks, and I recommend it highly.

2 Responses to "“The Savages”"

  1. colleen

    November 7, 2007

    And how much does would the dad even be aware of the bells and whistles?

    Years ago I worked in a not for profit day care. There was another one in town that was for profit. Ours was so much better but there’s had a presentation with Little Bo Peep and other decorations on the walls. We had kid’s messy paintings.

    Check out “An Unfinished Life” with Robert Redford and Morgan Freeman. It’s quite moving and deals with death and grief.

  2. sunny

    November 7, 2007

    I think we’re going to see many more of these movies. People need to address these issues before they get there.

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