Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Rated : R
STARS: Meryl Streep , Julia Roberts, Margo Martindale, Juliette Lewis, Julianne Nicholson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Abigail Breslin, Ewan McGregor, Sam Shepard, Dermot Mulroney
DIRECTOR: John Wells
GENRE: Dark Comedy
It's been said that all families are dysfunctional. Some are just better at keeping their dirty laundry from being sniffed by the neighbors. In August: Osage County, Violet Weston (Meryl Streep) is the foul mouthed, drug addicted matriarch of a dysfunctional family with a capital "D" that will get you to thinking that crazy old aunt Hattie wasn't so bad after all. It's all relative (pardon the pun).
Violet's hubby, Beverly, (Sam Shepard) has disappeared, and later turns up as a suicide. Her daughters Barbara, (Julia Roberts) Karen, (Juliettte Lewis) and Ivy (Julianne Nicholson) are summoned, with assorted "baggage" in tow (a husband, a fiancee, a teenage daughter) to the old family home in rural Oklahoma. There is a funeral to attend. And later lots of bitching, bickering, recriminations, put downs, name calling, obscenities flying like plates being smashed against the wall, wrestling around on the floor, and so on. All the things that families do during such solemn occasions.
Adapted from the Broadway play by Tracy Letts, August: Osage County keeps ratcheting up the tension until--if you are like me--you are sitting there completely fascinated, absorbed, and dumbfounded by the bravura performances of Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts. Both deserve Oscars. The rest of the cast ain't too shabby neither, including Juliette Lewis--one of my favorites ever since I saw her in the bizarre From Dusk Till Dawn. She always plays some type of bimbo, but she does it so well!
Fifty years from now, August: Osage County will be spoken of in the same breath as Streetcar Named Desire and other classic films that we look back upon today.
That's how freaking good this movie is.