Friday Movies: The Savages

This house on East 87th Street is part, I believe, of the Holy Trinity complex.

On my way down to the Angelika to see The Savages yesterday morning, I was flushed with the comfortable expectation of a very satisfying time at the movies, which might have seemed a bit odd in view of the story that the film has to tell, but which made perfect sense given the really tremendous cast that would be entertaining me for a few hours. It seems only yesterday that I saw Philip Seymour Hoffman in Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, and, indeed, it was only the month before last. According to IMDb, Laura Linney shot The Savages before working on Breach and The Nanny Diaries, both of which came out earlier this year. These two are so busy making great films that you’d think we were back in the old studio days (anywhere but at MGM, that is).

Interestingly — but not, I think, importantly, at least in a film that is really focused on Ms Linney’s character — Mr Hoffman plays a college professor who teaches Brecht and the theatre of alienation. Brecht didn’t want his audiences to feel comfortable, he tells his class; he wanted an argument (I’m conflating two sentences here). My, but it’s nice to have outlived all of that! There is little enough danger these days of being smothered in bourgeois comfort.  

The Savages.

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