A look at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them.
An elderly Margaret Thatcher talks to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband as she struggles to come to terms with his death while scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British prime minister, intervene.
Richard E. Grant
Violet Weston (Meryl Streep) has cancer and a propensity for pills and alcohol. She's a difficult woman to deal with and her husband has finally had enough. Violet's family gathers including middle daughter Ivy, youngest daughter Karen (with her new fiancé), eldest daughter Barbara (with her separated husband and teenage daughter), and her sister Mattie Fae (with her husband and son in tow). A family tragedy causes tensions to run high and secrets to come out. The Weston women will be forced to examine themselves and their lives whether they want to or not. Welcome to Osage County, Oklahoma in the sweltering heat of August. Written by
This is the third time Tracy Letts writes the film adaptation of one of his plays. See more »
The sheriff's car bears an Oklahoma County license plate. Oklahoma County is about 2 1/2 hours away from Osage County. See more »
Life is very long. T.S. Elliot. Not the first person to say it, certainly not the first person to think it, but he's given credit for it because he bothered to write it down.
Now if you say it, you have to say his name after it. "Life is very long." T.S. Elliot. Absolutely goddamn right.
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"August: Osage County" was adapted by its own playwright Terry Letts
into a screenplay. I have not seen the play yet, but am looking forward
to seeing one in a few months from now. The standard set by the
ensemble of actors in this film will be so hard to top.
This play is set in an Oklahoma town on one warm summer. Violet Wetson
(Meryl Streep) reunites with her three willful daughters, Barbara
(Julia Roberts), Ivy (Julianne Nicholson) and Karen (Juliette Lewis)
when there was a death in the family. Fireworks fly when family secrets
are revealed as mother and daughters clash.
Meryl Streep is again in top form here as a dysfunctional wife and
mother made worse by her dependency on drugs given for her cancer. This
role has Oscar written all over it, and Ms. Streep again grabs this
bull by the horns. She is one scary virago here, one you would not want
to meet in real life. To even imagine someone like her to be your
mother is unthinkable.
Julia Roberts plays the eldest daughter Barbara with restraint until
that post-funeral lunch when her top blows up and all hell breaks
loose. We see a mature and gritty Julia here, going full circle from
her first Oscar nomination with another family-oriented play turned
film "Steel Magnolias." Ewan McGregor plays her husband Bill who loves
her but can't stand her. Abigail Breslin plays her 14-year old daughter
Jean, who is trying to grow up faster than she should.
Juliette Lewis plays another quirky and flighty character here. It
seems only these types of roles fit her unusually unique face. Her
Karen brings home a much-older fiancé Steve (Dermot Mulroney) with fast
sports car and stash of pot.
Julianne Nicholson plays the daughter who stayed home to take care of
her parents, Ivy. It seems she has been around for a long time, but
this is the first film that I have taken notice of her. Her character
has secret dreams and desires that could not take off because she is
trapped in her situation in life, and Nicholson portrays that pain and
frustration very well.
We will also meet Violet's fussy and nosy sister Mattie Fay, played by
Margo Martindale. Her husband Charles is played by Chris Cooper, who is
quietly dignified through most the film, until he had his own
confrontation scene with his wife. Their son shy and insecure "Little"
Charles is sensitively played by Benjamin Cumberbatch. This 2013 has
really been a big debut year for Cumberbatch with diverse roles in big
films like "Star Trek In Darkness", "12 Years a Slave", now this one.
This may not be for all because of the depressing family squabbling
going on for two hours. However, I thought the dialogues were really
darkly witty in their bitterness and spite. The main reason to watch
this film though would be the masterclass in ensemble acting. Seeing
all these actors interact together enhancing each other's performances
is the big positive in watching a film like this.
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