"You don't get to choose who is in your family and THAT is the story." – Meryl Streep
After I watched AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY, I said to my friend Mary, "I don't think this is a good movie for families to watch together during the holidays. It can be a sensitive time without watching a movie like this."
"No, this is the movie families should watch together. They will be thankful their family isn't as dysfunctional as this one," she replied.
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY is a story of the Weston family who come together after the death of their father, Beverly Weston (Sam Shepard). He leaves behind his wife, Violet (Meryl Streep), who is simply disappointed with life and appears to be resentful of others. When her three daughters return home to Oklahoma,the family's deep, dark secrets make their way out and no one is safe from the hurtful truth. Violet's drug and pain-induced words cause fights and anger amongst the family.
Drug abuse, adultery, lies and much more are revealed in the short time this family is together. During a time when a family is expected to gather and mourn together, the Weston family drives one another away. Their dysfunctional relationships don't seem to be strong enough to stay together through this crisis.
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY is written by Tracy Letts and is based on his Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play. It is directed by John Wells and produced by George Clooney and Grant Heslow.
"It’s very humanistic and beautiful, and very funny at times. I was attracted to the ways in which it reminded me (though not specifically of my own family) of the way in which families interact," John Wells said according to the press release.
This movie is about family, plain and simple. The characters in this movie are so well written and developed that they remind you of someone in your family. I cried. I laughed out loud. I was disturbed. I was happy. (not necessarily in that order)
Photo courtesy of: ©2012 THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts are both so strong in this movie. There were moments I could not believe how much Meryl Streep was blowing me away. Her character Violet is mysterious, hurt and manipulative. You find yourself in a love-hate relationship with her. You will never see Julia Roberts in a role like this. Her character, Barbara, is dark and shut off to those who love her. Her dad had died, her marriage is failing and her daughter hates her. Now, she must deal with the one woman who can drive her to a point she doesn't want to reach – her mom, Viola. This mother-daughter relationship is complex and almost unforgivable. Streep and Roberts aren't the only ones who deliver great performances. There is an all-star cast who, now, I couldn't imagine this movie with anyone else in it.
Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Abigail Breslin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliette Lewis, Margo Martindale, Dermot Mulroney, Julianne Nicholson, Sam Shepard, Misty Upham
I know this family is fictional but I have to agree with my friend, Mary. The Weston family makes me grateful for my own family.
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY gets two thumbs up from me and it is in theaters everywhere Friday, January 10, 2014.
Watch the trailer: