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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)
Reviews
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

Chloë Grace Moretz auditioned for the role of Jean Fordham, but lost to Abigail Breslin. 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.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Silent Film
Written by Mateo Messina
Performed by Mateo Messina & His Orchestra
Courtesy of Kind Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The fierce performances and characters engage in the moment, even if the overall narrative is lacking
7 February 2014 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

I've never seen the play on which this film is based so in a way it was good to come to this film 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 and vitriolic women coming back together in the wake of a family tragedy. Resentment, past hurts, bitterness and vitriol are the underlying themes as the family sits around the dinner table. I shan't say too much more than that – not because the plot is best left unknown (although it is) but more because there really isn't too much more actual plot to worry about and instead the film is more about the characters and a study of the family.

In some ways this is a bad thing and it does make the film feel long and rather lacking in a narrative drive. I can understand why many have found it dull and low on direction and focus but for me personally I thought that the strength brought about by this approach was just about enough to overcome the weaknesses inherent in it. That strength is simply in the way that it takes a very talented group of actresses, puts them together and gives them some really strong scenes to get their teeth into. Additionally, and I don't mean to be rude, but this group is of an age which Hollywood casting agents generally starts forgetting exists due to their age. As a result of this the film almost always engages in the moment or in any specific scene as we see instantly recognizable characters lash out at each other, playing out old patterns of hurt in a way that we are able to recognize them as "old patterns" even though we as viewers are here for the first time. So as a collection of scenes, the film is almost always working well – it is just when it has to come together that it doesn't do quite as well.

Despite this it is great to watch the cast go at it. Streep is great as usual and is utterly convincing as someone so engrained in patterns of behavior and carrying so much pain in her that it has affected everything – OK the cancer and the "eating pain" stuff may make it a bit too obvious, but even still she is good at what she has to do. Roberts is not quite on that level here but is still very strong while Nicholson and Lewis do well with big supporting characters. Martindale may not be as big a name (or role) but those that watch Justified already know she has presence and she holds her own here really well. The male cast are very much second fiddle but there are still good turns throughout from Cooper, Shepard, Cumberbatch, Mulroney and McGregor. The risk is that the cast feels too heavy with stars, but they are all so convincing that once they had been on screen for a little, I was more focused on the character than the career.

August Osage County is one of many films getting hyped up around the awards period and as with many films it is not as perfectly brilliant as you'll be told it is. The narrative does move but the film always seems happiest when it is just sitting and letting the family be themselves and as a result it does move slowly and perhaps the story lacks real impact. However, just as the film is happy, so are the cast and 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 – and it is this that makes the film strong and worth a look.


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