We talk to the director of ''The Savages'' about what she's been doing since ''Slums of Beverly Hills'' and her new film

What have you been doing since 1998?
I got involved in projects that wasted my time. You meet with people, it sounds interesting, then it disappears. With The Savages, I was so fueled by disappointment, I was like a maniac. Nothing could stop me.

Why this topic?
My grandmother and father were in nursing homes with dementia, so I had a strong emotional connection to that aspect. And I was interested in writing about adult siblings.

You got Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman to play those siblings.
They’re so relaxed together, the acting’s almost invisible. I love how plain and raw it feels. People say, ”Did they improvise?” Not at all. It was very scripted. But I guess that’s a ompliment — they’re so well suited, their dialogue feels like their own language!