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August: Osage County (2013)

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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.

Director:

John Wells

Writers:

Tracy Letts (screenplay), Tracy Letts (play)
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Popularity
3,148 ( 23)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 62 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Meryl Streep ... Violet Weston
Julia Roberts ... Barbara Weston
Chris Cooper ... Charlie Aiken
Ewan McGregor ... Bill Fordham
Margo Martindale ... Mattie Fae Aiken
Sam Shepard ... Beverly Weston
Dermot Mulroney ... Steve Huberbrecht
Julianne Nicholson ... Ivy Weston
Juliette Lewis ... Karen Weston
Abigail Breslin ... Jean Fordham
Benedict Cumberbatch ... Little Charles Aiken
Misty Upham ... Johnna Monevata
Will Coffey Will Coffey ... Sheriff Deon Gilbeau
Newell Alexander ... Dr. Burke
Jerry Stahl ... Liquor Store Owner
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Storyline

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 napierslogs

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Misery loves family.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language including sexual references, and for drug material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 January 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Agosto See more »

Filming Locations:

Oklahoma, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$179,302, 29 December 2013

Gross USA:

$37,738,503, 5 May 2014

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$73,745,738, 5 May 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Datasat | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tracy Letts unsuccessfully objected to Harvey Weinstein's decision to cast British actors Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Andrea Riseborough (who was nearly cast as Karen) because the characters were written to be all-American. He admitted a change of view after he saw the film. See more »

Goofs

The sheriff's car bears an Oklahoma County license plate. Oklahoma County is about 2 1/2 hours away from Osage County. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Beverly Weston: 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.
[chuckles]
Beverly Weston: 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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Connections

Features The People's Court (1997) See more »

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Last Mile Home
Written by Caleb Followill, Nathan Followill, Jared Followill & Matthew Followill
Performed by Kings of Leon
Courtesy of RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment
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User Reviews

 
Eat your Fish
12 January 2014 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Tracy Letts had a very nice year in 2008. He won the Pulitzer Prize and a Tony for writing the play August: Osage County. Since then, he has also written the play and screenplay for Killer Joe, and been seen as an actor in the key role of a Senator in the TV show "Homeland". This time out, he adapts his own play for director John Wells' (The Company Men, TV's "ER") screen version of August: Osage County.

With an ensemble cast matched by very few movies over the years, the screen version begins with what may be its best scene. Weston family patriarch and published poet Beverly (the always great Sam Shepard) is interviewing Johnna for a position as cook and housekeeper when they are interrupted in stunning fashion by Violet (Meryl Streep), Beverly's acid-tongued wife who is showing the effects of chemotherapy and her prescription drug addiction. This extraordinary pre-credits scene sets the stage for the entire movie, which unfortunately only approaches this high standard a couple more times.

Despite the film's flaws, there is no denying the "train-wreck" effect of not being able to look away from this most dysfunctional family. Most of this is due to the screen presence of a steady stream of talented actors: in addition to Streep and Shephard, we get their 3 daughters played by Julia Roberts (Barbara), Julianne Nicholson (Ivy) and Juliette Lewis (Karen); Ewan McGregor and Abigail Breslin as Roberts' husband and daughter; Margo Martindale (Violet's sister), her husband Chris Cooper (Charles) and their son Benedict Cumberbatch.

As with most dysfunctional family movies, there is a dinner table scene ... this one occurring after a funeral. The resentment and regret and anger on display over casseroles is staggering, especially the incisive and "truth-telling" Violet comments and the defensive replies from Barbara. As time goes on, family secrets and stories unfold culminating in a whopper near the end. This is really the polar opposite of a family support system.

Meryl Streep's performance is one of the most demonstrative of her career. Some may call it over the top, but I believe it's essential to the tone of the movie and the family interactions. Her exchanges with Julia Roberts define the monster mother and daughter in her image theme. They don't nitpick each other, it's more like inflicting gaping wounds. Surprisingly, Roberts mostly holds her own ... though that could be that the film borders on campy much of the time. Streep's scene comes as she recalls the most horrific childhood Christmas story you could ever want to hear.

It must be noted that Margo Martindale is the real highlight here. She has two extraordinary scenes ... each very different in style and substance ... and she nails them both. Without her character and talent, this film could have spun off into a major mess. The same could be said for Chris Cooper, who is really the moral center of the family. While the others seem intent on hiding from their past, he seems to make the best of his situation.

The film never really captures the conflicting environments of the old Weston homestead and the wide open plains of Oklahoma. The exception is a pretty cool post-funeral scene in a hayfield where Roberts tells Streep "There's no place to go". The main difference between the film version and stage version is the compressed time and the decision to include all explosive scenes. There is just little breathing room here. Still, it's one of the more entertaining and wild dysfunctional comedy-dramas that you will see on screen, and it's quite obvious this group of fine actors thoroughly enjoyed the ensemble experience.


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