Title – August: Osage County (2013)
Director – John Wells (The Company Men)
Cast – Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper, Ewan McGregor, Abigal Breslin, Benidict Cumberbatch, Juliette Lewis, Dermot Mulroney, Margo Martindale, Julianne Nicholson, Sam Shepard
Plot – When family head Beverly Weston (Shepard) disappears the Weston family gather together at the family home where there cancer stricken and matter of fact mother Violet (Streep) reigns, pills and all. With everyone in the house family secrets and open wounds begin to be uncovered.
“You don’t get it, do you? You don’t get it! I AM running things now!”
Review by Eddie on 12/06/2014
If your idea of a good movie is 2 hours with a bunch of highly talented actors continually yelling at each other, then my goodness is August: Osage County the movie for you! Director John Wells starry and talk fuelled adaptation of Tracy Letts play is a movie filled with far too much acting and in many cases over-acting and not enough inhabiting of characters, it seems that all concerned were counting down the days until the Oscar arrived on their front doorstep.
Leading the way with an at times downright maniacal display of over the top hysterics is Meryl Streep who somehow once more was nominated for her insane, frustrating and frankly unbelievable turn as cancer ridden family head Violet Weston. Streep is ably supported in the going all out stakes by the profanity spitting Julia Roberts and the annoying and annoyingly short shifted Juliette Lewis as daughters Barbara and Karen respectively, even normally ace British star Benedict Cumberbatch inhabits a strange turn as family cousin Little Charles. It’s a worrying thing that the film goes from the extremes of these actors to the barely rising beyond a pulse turns from Ewan McGregor (who it must be said is horribly miscast), the frequently annoying Abigal Breslin and the usually reliable Chris Cooper. Only bit part players Margo Martindale and Dermot Mulroney come out on top in their respective roles but even if all actors were on top of their games it’s highly unlikely the films story would of struck cinematic gold.
No doubt striking a chord on stage, the material in August just isn’t enough to warrant a 2 hour cinema venture with many scenarios and situations just not working on the screen. A key sequence in the film centred around the family dinner table is supposed to create all types of emotions within the audience but is instead derailed by an overarching sense of unbelieve-ability and again a reliance on the actors trying to out yell each OTHER! Other key revelations in the film feel horribly sign posted and at times wholly unnecessary.
With stale direction, an abundance of miscalculated performances, a bunch of characters that aren’t really worth caring about and with a story that never really goes to any places we haven’t been to before and in many cases been to more convincingly, August: Osage County is saved from complete mediocrity by a couple of nice supporting acting turns and a strange sensation that you must keep watching to see just HOW LOUD THINGS CAN GET in the Weston household!
2 dropped casseroles out of 5