Thursday, January 9, 2014

August: Osage County (2013): Review

With all the buzz about the new Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts movie, going into watching August: Osage County I was expecting a lot.  This movie was well acted and had all around good acting, but it had a forced quality to it that prevented me from thinking it one of the best movies of its kind.  It is absolutely nomination worthy but for me not award winner worthy.
August: Osage County is the movie version of a play by the same name and as I watched the movie, I could really see how the story played well to the stage.  It was set mainly in the family manor and was about interesting characters and their messed up relationships. Although Meryl Streep is billed as lead actress, to me it was more of a Julia Robert's led movie, the mom used to be the center of everything, but in this story it was the daughter who is now the lynch pin between everyone.  
August: Osage County is so named because it occurs during the month of August in Osage County, Oklahoma. There is the a house that connects all the characters because it is the Weston family home.  Violet Weston, played by Meryl Streep, is an old women dealing with mouth cancer who has had an ongoing addiction to pills.  She is in a state because her alcoholic husband Beverly Weston has left home and no one knows where he is, and soon it is discovered that he drowned himself.  Because of the father being missing the family descends on the old home.  You have Barbara, played by Julia Roberts, her estranged husband Bill, played by Ewan McGregor, and their fourteen year old daughter Jean, played by Abigail Breslin.  There is the old maid sister who has stayed closed to home Ivy, played by Julianne Nickolas.  Violets how'd her husband stay with her sister Mattie Fae Aiken, played by Margo Martindale, her husband Charlie Aiken, played by Chris Cooper, and their hopeless son Little Charles, played by Benedict Cumberbatch.  You have horrible with men sister Karen Westen, played by Juliette Lewis, and her kinda creepy boyfriend Steve, played by Dermot Mulroney.  Also thrown in the mix is newly hired cook Johanna, played by Misty Upham.

There is a lot that is going on in this dysfunctional family and everyone is given a little time to show how they fit into all of this craziness that being said it really is about the role that Violet and Barbara have in the family and with each other.  There are moments were every one is playing happy family and there are times where things are really caustic. This movie looks at them all at a specific time and place in their lives, with the forced togetherness of Beverly's death but nothing really gets resolved and although it looks at each character and expression of who they represent there is no development of character.  For me it seemed like there were purposely pushing the envelope really far at times and that things were thrown in just to make the characters have more problems and reasons to be deceitful and distrustful of each other.
The acting of Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts is really good and everything about the movie had a lot thought into it, each movement, shot, lighting choice, and voice intonation seemed thought out but because of it at times things didn't seem to have a natural flow.  It was as if it was done with the understanding and knowledge that it was great so it had a bit of that overall feeling to it.  To me I prefer movies that feel a little less completely put together.  And even though this movie had a lot of craziness it still felt extremely calculated.
All that being said, I did like the movie and think that it does deserve being mentioned for its plot and acting, and I would recommend it to people who like this kind of dark drama.

My Rating: 3-

No comments:

Post a Comment