Wednesday, November 13, 2013

"August: Osage County" comes to the screen—and the family secrets explode like popcorn

I've just seen August: Osage County at the Virginia Film Festival and it blew me away. Originating in Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater and written by actor Tracy Letts for his colleagues there, this familial drama won every award Broadway could throw at it. (The screenplay is by Letts also.)
The acting is beyond awesome. I think this might be the best role of Meryl Streep's career. Julia Roberts is a close second as her daughter (and what an incredible foil she she is for Streep!) The other two daughters in the family are played by Julianne Nicolson and Juliette Lewis, who are perfect and have meaty roles as well. This is such a prestige ensemble production that hot actor of the moment Benedict Cumerbatch gets the relatively minor part of their doofus cousin. I really see this film, which comes out in late December, as sweeping the Golden Globes and Oscars (although I hope to God these incredible actresses don't cancel each other out in their categories). The cinematography and directing are wonderful as well.
You can see the trailer here. The stills look a bit dire, but there's an abundance of heart as well as black humor.


  1. A month or two ago I went on this big Meryl Streep kick, basically where I watched of clips of her performances in various films on youtube. I watched the preview on iTunes Movie Trailers recently and just checking out a brief moment of her performance in this film sold the movie for me. Totally anticipating the December release of "August: Osage County."

  2. Is that supposed to be a dysfunctional family? They're just fine! Mine has stopped trying altogether. Sitting at a table is out of the question. Too many knives!

  3. If you say it's a great film, I won't doubt you. But I must say it seems to contain every tired subject that has made me hate Hollywood: suicide, drug abuse, alcoholism, child molestation, and of course the Dysfunctional Family. Perhaps some studio executives have the idea that these topics add up to profundity, or else it has something to do with the Oscar race, which in recent decades has always favored the tragic. (Roberto Benigni being a marvelous exception). On a lighter note, check out the movie poster with Meryl diving into the carpet while her family looks on in exaggerated horror. It is perhaps the funniest such promo I've ever seen. For some reason, I feel like Joanna Lumley should be the lady sprawling headfirst.

    1. Touche! I eagerly await the French&Saunders parody of the film.

    2. What a very real take on the subject. Sometimes it makes me ponder if there is much room left for individuality in the movie industry, or are we faced with a future full of many films which are different stories on worn subjects, or just remakes in general.