Director: John Wells
Stars: Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Dermot Mulroney, Chris Cooper, Abigail Breslin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Margo Martindale, Julianne Nicholson, Juliette Lewis, Misty Upham
After the patriarch of a family dies, the members gather at his house after the funeral where tensions run high. There’s a lot of betrayal, anger, and pain as secrets are revealed and old hostilities are brought boiling to the surface.
These types of films can be hit and miss because while you’re watching a film you ask yourself why do you care about these people? August: Osage County is definitely a hit. At times it can be gruelling to watch because the characters are mostly unlikeable and at times you just want to shout at them to chill out, but that’s good because it sucks you into the film and makes you invested in them, in a twisted sort of way. It’s a fairly big cast, and an immensely talented one at that, and they all at least get a moment to shine. However, despite the ensemble nature it’s really Streep and Roberts’ film.
Streep is Violet, the widow, who is suffering from mouth cancer and also an addiction to pills. Roberts is Barbara, the headstrong child who clashes with her mother over and over again. The two of them give powerful, unflinching performances and anyone who wonders why Meryl Streep is so highly regarded should watch this film. Its a powerhouse performance that absolutely dominates the screen and commands attention, and it’s only really Roberts who can keep up with her.
I don’t think this film will be for everybody because it is quite bleak and at the end a lot of things are left unresolved, but this isn’t really a plot driven story. It’s providing a window into these peoples’ lives and the strength of the characters is what sees this film through. So if you like family dramas then I highly recommend this film.