The Savagesi is a delightful production by the same woman that did Slums of Beverly Hills. Inexplicably, Tamara Jenkins doesn't top the charts of "women that made something of themselves outside the house", is strictly unknown on jezebel.com and so on. For shame, as far as female directors working this millenium, the list begins and ends with her.
Philip Seymour Hoffman plays the part of brother to an anodyne, wanna-be Kristen Wiig type of character (filled unremarkably by some random B list face, I forget her name). He's knee deep in the "US Academia"ii chumpatron ; she's defrauding FEMA. He's losing his Polish girlfriend to the fact that there's no room and no future for "intellectuals" misrepresented as some sort of spiritual issue ; she's fucking some cab driver for very little money. The scene where brother leaves sister some cash on the motel nightstand after having spent the night together is very, very subversive. It yields to a defeated, gray, pointless America "this is how poor you are"! The defeated, gray, pointless America rates this 7/10 and looks away. It does not wish to see. Not this, not that cannibalism is the next stop, none of it. Percocet ? Do you take Xanax too ? Like on the pen ?
The attention to detail is fabulous, not just in the case of the actoriii but throughout. The car is exactly right, "graduate student car". The Timberlands, the borderline sleeve, the whole shebang is there. Here, tell me how this reads to you :
Dear Selection Committee,
If awarded your prestigious fellowship for artistic creation, I would use the money to complete the writing and research of my new, semi-autobiographical play... of my new, subversive, semi-autobiographical play about my childhood entitled WAKE ME WHEN IT'S OVER.
Inspired by the work of Jean Genet, the cartoons of Lynda Barry and the family dramas of Eugene O'Neil, my piece of shit tells the story of a brother and sister who -- after being abandoned by their abusive father -- are forced to fend for themselves when their depressive mother goes out on a date... from which she never returns...
You see ? "Dear" applied to something she couldn't possibly hold dear, for it doesn't per se exist rhyming with hollow flattery, infantile and out of place in the first line. Straight to the money, that's what it is, she wants prestige for the money, and probably money for prestige, and sex for the relationship and relationship for the sex and a cat for the tv and the tv for the furniture and Percocet to wake her up and her head on a fucking stick already. Subversive, you see. There's something subversive about a 36 yo girly that's still stuck in her childhood, derping at some similar retard (literally, retard, this is the medical term describing 12 year olds captive in 36 year old bodies) because some random guy dared talk to them and hurr durr who knows, maybe they're important now and should have opinions on things. She's watched some cartoons and is now ready to write. About herself! People would certainly want to read that, right ? She was affected!
Even the title's well chosen. You have to watch this.———
- 2007, by Tamara Jenkins, with Philip Seymour Hoffman. [↩]
- You know, "the premiere science and engineering institution in the world" producing piles of "graduates" that can't light a lightbulb. [↩]
- Have you noticed this, by the way ? PSH is always well prepared, he studies, he doesn't ever say stupid crap "just because it was on the script", he might be one of the most serious actors in the history of US cinema, when it comes to doing homework.
This matters. It matters a lot more than Tom Cruise's pretty face. [↩]