August:Osage County is based on Tracy Lett’s play and the movie feels staged. I have a feeling seeing it with live actors would have been better. However, the movie has a stellar cast and some very good lines. BUT – it’s a truly miserable film about a truly miserable family and it’s two hours of angsty drama. Don’t go see it. There – I’ve saved you from wasting two hours of your life.
Meryl Streep is nominated for an Oscar as Violet, the drug addled cancer ridden matriarch. I normally like Meryl, but she overacts this over-the-top character. It was quite annoying. Sam Shepard is good as the patriarch and he’s smart to exit the film quickly with a suicide. But his death triggers the family gathering with their spite, anger, and miserable lives. Julia Roberts is good as the eldest daughter, but you always know it is Julia on screen. Ewan McGregor, Juliette Lewis, Chris Cooper, Dermot Mulroney, Benedict Cumberbatch all join in this mess.
The viewer keeps waiting for something redeeming or nice to happen on screen. Sadly, it doesn’t and I’m not ruining any major plot point here. Some folks and families just wallow in their own nastiness. Life is bleak in August: Osage County.