Based on a Pulitzer-winning play written by auteur Tracy Letts and starred by the all-star ensemble of casts led by the Oscar magnet Meryl Streep, August: Osage County almost has everything to sweep heaps of awards. It’s a drama about a messed-up family reunion with tons of yells and screams.
Meryl Streep is Violet Weston, a middle-aged mother who suffers from mouth cancer. After her husband Beverly’s miserable death, she must cross her dysfunctional Oklahoma family again, not in a proper situation. Her children comes in fuss–Barbara (Julia Roberts) with her husband Bill (Ewan McGregor) and their child Jean (Abigail Breslin); Karen (Juliette Lewis) with her fiance Steve (Dermot Mulroney); and Ivy (Julianne Nicholson) by herself. To complete their quiverful, come The Aikens–Violet’s sister Mattie (Margo Martindale) with her husband Charles Aiken (Chris Cooper) and their son Little Charles Aiken (Benedict Cumberbatch). What comes along this family reunion is not grief–but, arguments with all fuss and fight.
All these conflicts and claims lead to the ‘main dish’, a moreless 20-minute-long dinner with all talks of hesitance and thrills that sting badly. I never know the original play, but I guess this dinner act is transferred directly, although John Wells directs this part gorgeously. This set piece is very thought-provoking as things get sour so easily and suddenly Violet has spitted out her poignant accusations to everyone around her.
Emotional and talkie would best describe this movie. Over-dramatization of things in August: Osage County might be annoying sometimes, because everything seems so melancholy and feminine. Lucky, the source material already turns this harrowing classic theme into a theatrical act–unnatural (or over natural) but classy.
The rest 100 minutes become less interesting than the main dish, yet if we go beyond the dialogues, we’d understand things happen here and there. Good to see the all-star ensemble of casts in A:OC, Streep is emotional as she, like, explodes easily. Meanwhile, Julia Roberts might compensate that with her fabulous acting—both of them are just amazing. Well, spitting out all dirty words and getting nominated in Oscars, these intergenerational pair is just too fabulous. Although, McGregor and Cumberbatch seem like ‘miscasts’, the spotlight won’t change.
When it comes to the best part, it is fascinating. Yet, the rest of it might not be as strong as the good part. Streep as a mother… cool.
August: Osage County (2013) —
Drama Directing: John Wells Writing: Tracy Letts Cinematography: Adriano Goldman Editing: Stephen Mirrione Music: Gustavo Santaolalla Casts: Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper, Ewan McGregor, Margo Martindale, Sam Shepard, Dermot Mulroney, Julianne Nicholson, Juliette Lewis, Abigail Breslin, Benedict Cumberbatch