August: Osage County

August: Osage County


Misery loves family.

The Westons, a dysfunctional Oklahoma family, come together to rally around the clan's dying matriarch in an ensemble lead by Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts. Based on the Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning black comedy play by Tracy Letts (Killer Joe). ... More

When Violet (Streep) becomes terminally ill, her husband hires a caregiver and then goes AWOL. The estranged Weston clan congregate at the family homestead to give support, and inevitably rattle the skeletons in the closet. Violet and Barbara (Roberts) are at constant odds, while the rest of the family slowly spirals out of control in the background. The high-class cast also includes Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliette Lewis, Julianne Nicholson, Dermot Mulroney, Abigail Breslin and Chris Cooper.Hide

Flicks Review

Katharine Hepburn once said that while watching Meryl Streep you could see the wheels turning in her head. That's a rare distraction, but it invades Streep's otherwise impressive turn as a pill-addled matriarch in Tracy Letts' adaptation of his Pulitzer-Prize-winning play. Streep so inhabits the complex Violet in August: Osage County that it's virtually impossible to envision anyone else in the role, let alone focus on the other stars in the film. But as she rides the highs and lows of the meds, her performance teeters between the brilliant and the OTT.... More

Julia Roberts as the most brittle of Violet's daughters, however, is outstanding; her character's epiphany is worth the admission price alone. Hers is one of many authentic performances in a film that demands much of its strong cast, many of whom, Roberts included with her scant makeup and greying roots, transcend themselves in the process.

Still, like the landscape in which this emotionally gruelling story is set, the opening is flat and slow. It also takes a while for its theatrical source material to find its footing on the big screen. But Letts ramps up the caustic, sometimes funny assaults, mummy issues and shocking skeletons, particularly during one riveting yet simple scene set around the dinner table.

Whether you can stand the shrillness with which this takes place is a matter of personal taste. But the beauty of the story is its ability to convey a breadth of meaning. This could be any family, wrestling with the (often unspoken) tension between siblings, parents, husbands and wives, not to mention races, classes and generations.Hide

The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 5 ratings, 4 reviews
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BY CJRedshaw superstar

Great strong lead performances from Streep and Roberts. I was expecting
more from McGreggor in the movie as a whole. All up the film leaves you feeling
like you have lived through all the drama with them! Plenty of humour but more
arguments than anything else, you will appreciate your own family after viewing this.
Not my typical movie but went along due to strong casting.

BY Gerd superstar

It's not easy to watch a family implode but August: Osage County through the brilliant performance from Streep and Roberts (and the whole team really) makes it possible. Includes the finest dinner battles ever seen on screen.

BY Ken-Burns superstar

Turning a play into a screenplay works well in this one. Family drama is stuff well contracted on here. It can be funny but ugly to. We'd be nowhere without human relationships to plough our way through. I'd see it again.

BY Brian1 superstar

extremely well acted, involving and thought provoking. Clearly written as a play, but one of the best adaptions I've seen.

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The Press Reviews

69% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Roberts is startlingly effective in her grim, hard-driving role... At its best, the story does subtly communicate the sensation that all these characters are the stars of their own bigger worlds. But it’s all more grotesque than immersive. Full Review

  • [Writer] Letts is one of the most formidable talents around today, but in handling his screenplay with such kid gloves, Wells puts a passenger in the driver's seat. Full Review

  • An entertaining adaptation, delivering flavorful rewards in some sharp supporting turns that flank the central mother-daughter adversaries. Full Review

  • It is possible that Mr. Wells has simply mishandled the material, riding roughshod over subtleties and muffling bravura moments. Full Review

  • The movie may be all ephemerally simple pleasures when compared to the play's durable grand statements-but they're pleasures nonetheless. Full Review

  • This two-ton prestige pic won't win the hearts of highbrow critics or those averse to door-slamming, plate-smashing, top-of-the-lungs histrionics, but as a faithful filmed record of Letts' play, one could have scarcely hoped for better. Full Review

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