So now all the Oscar nominees I haven't seen are not in theaters (the shorts are playing Feb. 15-21 at the Landmark Shattuck and Embarcadero). The documentaries usually play as a free screening at the Balboa if I can make it. The foreign films are looking pretty impossible to see as anything other than an illegal download. And there's still no fucking way I'm watching "Norbit".
Anyway, as for "The Savages", the trailers for this movie inaccurately play up the comedy elements. Really it's a very serious drama about taking care of a parent in the last stages of their lives. Particularly, a single father who for some not-quite-specified reason didn't do a good job raising his son (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and daughter (Best Actress nominee Laura Linney), and so they're both too screwed-up and selfish to do a good job taking care of him. It's a little painful to watch at times. At least, if you try to sympathize with any of the characters it can be. But it's got some excellent acting and writing, and all in all a well made movie.