Thursday, March 13, 2014
August: Osage County (directed by John Wells; written by Tracy Letts)
This takes 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.
Starring: Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper, Ewan McGregor, Margo Martindale, Sam Shepard, Dermot Mulroney, Juliette Lewis, Abigail Breslin, Benedict Cumberbatch
Why I loved this film: I have never seen the play on which this film is based so in a way it was good to go to the cinema really knowing nothing more than 'people are saying this is good so maybe I should go see it'. The plot sees a deeply dysfunctional family of strong-willed women coming back together in the wake of a family tragedy. Resentment, past hurts, and bitterness are the underlying themes as the family sits around the dinner table. While watching it, I heard comments that it was a dull movie and people could not understand why it had been nominated for an Oscar. But if you look deep enough, this takes a very talented group of actresses, puts them together and gives them some really strong scenes to get their teeth into. And it is great to watch the cast go at it. Meryl Streep is great as usual and is utterly convincing as someone carrying so much pain that it has affected everything. Julia Roberts is just amazing here and I will not say she steals the show out of respect for Meryl Streep, but these two are the main reason why you should watch this movie.
August Osage County does move slowly and perhaps the story lacks real impact, but the strong individual scenes give plenty for the cast to work with, and they return the favor with a really strong ensemble feel that is engaging and convincingly laced with hurt and anger. There are also a few engaging turning points storywise, but I cannot say much there without giving it away.
Overall, it is worth seeing.