I’ve walked out of one movie theater before the film had finished in all my life. One. ‘August: Osage County’ nearly became the second. The only reason I stayed for this slumber was due to Meryl Streep and her performance as the matriarch of the Weston family. Yes, she’s that good in this film. Unfortunately, the screenplay by Tracy Letts did not give Streep, or the other distinguished actors in the movie, much substance to work with or a storyline for the audience to appreciate.
The dysfunctional Weston home resides in Oklahoma and the family must deal with the death of one of their own. When the entire family finally gets together to cope and reflect, the movie’s plot also becomes a casualty. It’s very evident early in the film that Streep’s character, Violet, isn’t the only bitter, mean and spiteful Weston. Julia Roberts fans will see a different side of the ‘Pretty Woman’ star, which could have been intriguing had the plot been stronger.
Viewers will find a few laughs throughout the movie, generated mostly by Violet’s drug addiction and condescending comments. However, those lighter moments soon dissipate back to a family of hostile misfits with problematic relationships.
John Wells, directs his second film (2010’s ‘The Company Men’), teaming up with producer George Clooney on this blundering product. The movie slogan touts ‘Misery Loves Family’; which is both ironic, and yet, untrue. Like many of the characters in the film, viewers will desperately want to flee the misery and put this film behind them.
‘August: Osage County’ is Rated R for language including sexual references and for drug material. Running time is 2 hours.
Keepin’ it REEL BRIEF
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