An All-Star Production

It was Superbowl Sunday, and I therefore made the drive out to Wilton to see August: Osage County. Based on the play by Tracy Letts, the movie tells the story of a midwestern family living in the middle of nowhere, Oklahoma. The film is a dark comedy that begins with the disappearance of Beverly Weston, an alcoholic writer, husband, and father of three girls. When Berverly is found missing, Ivy, the youngest daughter of Beverly and Violet (played by Meryl Streep), calls the family together. The eldest daughter Barbra (Julia Roberts) returns home with her husband Bill (Ewan McGregor) and their daughter, Jean (Abigail Breslin). However when the entire family is assembled (the three daughters, Violet’s sister and brother-in-law), it is discovered that Beverly has drowned himself. As the family tries to cope with the loss of a prominent figure in their lives, Violet’s mouth cancer and drug addiction, and each other, dark humour ensues. August-Osage-County-poster

The movie can sometimes seem long and plotless because of the realism depicted. Plot twist after plot twist occurs as the film drags on and I generally found myself wondering “when will we reach the final twist?”

Though the film can occasionally bore its viewers to sleep, an all-star cast delivers career-defining performances. Take, for example, Benedict Cumberbatch. An actor who has made his name in films such as Star Trek: Into Darkness, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, 12 Years a Slave, and The Fifth Estate (and these film produced in the last year alone), Cumberbatch steals the show as clumsy and somewhat dimwitted “Little Charles,” cousin to the three daughters. His ability to transform his deep English accent into a twangy Southern accent is impeccable and his clumsiness is the perfect juxtaposition to a dark and disturbed family.

Meryl Streep is the perfect Violet, and one of the most dimensional characters in film. You love to hate her, but you hate to love her. She shows moments of complete vulnerability that are crushed in a split second as she transforms into the harsh and cold drug addicted lonely soul she makes herself out to be.

Julia Roberts as Barbara stands out in a scene where she tries to feed Violet and Ivy catfish in order to keep Ivy from delivering what she believes will be upsetting news to their already grief struck and insane mother.

So is August: Osage County due for an Oscar? Not in the slightest, as made evident by its lack of a nomination for best film this year. However, with nominations for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Streep) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Roberts) it is clear the acting is superb.

So if you feel like seeing a film that will change your life, this may not be the best one for you. However, if you are interested in seeing some of the finest actors and actresses of this generation, August: Osage County is a must see.

— Riley Vaske, Staff Writer

Posted by on February 12, 2014. Filed under Arts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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