August: Osage County – Movie Review

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Written by Tracy Letts (Killer Joe) and directed by  John Wells (Company Men), “August: Osage County” tells the story of one truly dysfunctional family.  It is rare that I find myself surprised in any way when it comes to family dramas, but some of the family members here are so loathsome and the way they treat each other is shocking at times.  Even though the star studded cast is in top form here, I just couldn’t muster up much love for the film itself.

The Weston’s reunite after a family member’s tragic passing.  Returning home after years away are Barbara (Julia Roberts), her husband Bill (Ewan McGregor), their daughter Jean (Abigail Breslin). Also returning are Charlie (Chris Cooper), his wife Mattie Fae (Margo Martindale), their son Little Charles (Benedict Cumberbatch) and also Barbara’s sisters Karen (Juliette Lewis), and Ivy (Julianne Nicholson). Actually Ivy is the only one who still resides in Oklahoma with the recently widowed Violet Weston (Meryl Streep).

 Aside from a few moments which really caught me off guard (in a good way), “August: Osage County” is just way too slowly paced, feeling endless at times.  Streep is fantastic here, as is Martindale. If it wasn’t for the performances from those two, this movie would have been pretty painful to sit through.  

By: Marc Ferman

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