After being called the ‘Indie Darling’ of this years Oscar race early on in 2007. Maybe, until Juno came around and stole it’s thunder. It has plenty to spare. I saw this one at the same festival where I saw an early screening, and i mean early, of Juno, La Vie en Rose and Atonement. This is because films come out so late in South Africa, that following the Oscar race can be a problem, as most of the movies come out after the awards ceremony, unless you catch the early screenings, like me….Getting back to that mini-review now…..Jon and Wendy Savage (Hoffman and Linney) are estranged. In almost every sense of the word. From each other, their mother, their father, society…i could go on. After the death of Lenny’s (Phillip Bosco) girlfriend, the siblings fly to Sun City to see how things are going. They discover that their father signed a prenuptial type arrangement and is now homeless. It is from this point that Jon and Wendy begin their transition in to true maturity and end up in the unenviable position of having to care for the father who never cared for them.
The performances by the entire cast are spot on great, aided by the direction of Tamara Jenkins, one of the many female directors making their mark in film this year. It has been said by many that it seems to be the Noah Baumbach film he failed to make this year. There is nothing with this film that I can label as badly done, it’s almost perfect, more in touch with reality than even Little Miss Sunshine, an all time favourite of mine. And that is the closest thing to perfection out there.
Written and directed by Tamara Jenkins, staring Laura Linney, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Philip Bosco, running time: 113 min.