Saratoga Springs, NY (January 22, 2007) - The Savages, Tamara Jenkins’ heartbreaking and hilarious story about siblings forced to care for their ailing and estranged father, has earned her an Academy Award nomination for best original screenplay, it was announced today.
The Oscar nomination is the latest in a string of accolades for Ms. Jenkins and The Savages, which premiered last year to rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival before hitting theaters in November. Ms. Jenkins already has received screenwriting awards for The Savages from the National Society of Film Critics and the San Francisco Film Critics Circle. In December, The National Board of Review listed The Savages on its directory of top 10 independent films of 2007. The film also is up for four 2008 Film Independent Spirit Award nominations, including two for Ms. Jenkins (best director and best screenplay). And its stars – Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney – have consistently been honored for their work in the movie, including an Oscar nod this morning for Ms. Linney and a Golden Globe nomination for Mr. Hoffman.
A film produced by another Yaddo artist, Eva Orner, also has been recognized by the Academy Awards committee. Taxi to the Dark Side, an absorbing investigation of governmental abuse of power in the name of the "war on terror," is nominated in the best documentary feature category. Ms. Orner produced the film with Alex Gibney.
Ms. Jenkins is a former recipient of Yaddo’s Donald and Genie Rice Residency and wrote a substantial portion of the screenplay for The Savages at Yaddo. It marks a return to feature films for Ms. Jenkins, who has said the film "would not exist if it were not for the generous support of Yaddo." This is her first Academy Award nomination.
The Savages is about a brother and sister (Hoffman and Linney) who move their father from Arizona to Buffalo when dementia makes it impossible for him to live alone. Mr. Hoffman’s character, John, is a writer and college professor in Buffalo whose choices are questioned by his sister Wendy, played by Ms. Linney. The stress of dealing with their elderly father wears on the already tentative relationship between brother and sister.
Considered the first major award nominations of the season, the Film Independent Spirit Awards are designed to celebrate independent movies and filmmakers working outside the Hollywood mainstream. To be eligible, films must be at least 70 minutes in length and the cost of the completed film, including post-production, has to be less than $20 million. They will be presented on February 23, the day before the Oscars.