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.
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
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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