Cast: Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Juliette Lewis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Abigail Breslin, Sam Shepard, Misty Upham
Director: John Wells
In a house that seems to have been stranded in a no-where stretch in the American Midwest lives a woman suffering from oral cancer and another serious mouth disease—that of not letting a single bitter thing left unsaid. Meryl Streep plays Violet Westin, whose shadowy husband ( Shepard) disappears one fine day, and who learns some life lessons as her dysfunctional family comes streaming in, to be by her.
‘August Osage County’, based on a play of the same name, has a stellar cast. But the story feels static, and slurry. Violet’s sister and husband, her daughters, their men, and a grand-daughter fill up the large house with chatter. But as the days go by, and the shocking news of the husband’s end comes in, we are plunged in the midst of a family drama that could have been a better film, if it was better written.
But some of the acting parts are so good they make you sigh. After a long time, Meryl Streep ( Oscar nominated for Best Actress) gets into a part without overwhelming it with Streepness , laying herself bare, in all her ugly addiction and tics, as only she can. Roberts, who was also nominated for a Supporting Oscar Act for her scrappy daughter’s part , is wonderful. But there isn’t enough of either Lewis or McGregor, or even Cumberbatch.
Finally, despite the superb acting, ‘August : Osage County’ feels becalmed. The heat rises from the ground, but doesn’t really reach us.
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