Mini Culture Update: August: Osage County Film

The first theater review I wrote for My Entertainment World (found here), was of a production of August: Osage County. Tracy Lett’s play delves into the troubled family foibles of the Westons, an Oklahoma family famous for feuds of epic proportions that are as dark as they are entertaining. So imagine my delight when I discovered a film adaptation was coming out the winter of 2013, with a screenplay written by the original playwright; it stars Meryl Streep as the family matriarch, Julia Roberts as her eldest daughter/successor, and many others, including Juliette Lewis, Margo Martindale, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, and a mature Abigail Breslin (from Little Miss Sunshine fame).

Julianne Nicholson, Meryl Streep, and Margo Martindale sharing a rare moment of cheer. Original source: chicagonow.com.

Julianne Nicholson, Meryl Streep, and Margo Martindale sharing a rare moment of cheer. Original source: chicagonow.com.

The film is well worth seeing. It hits many of the impressive notes of the play, although the strength of the dramatic performances perhaps takes away from the potential of the darkly comic moments. While I enjoyed every second of watching this film, I felt more emotionally drained and saddened when it ended then I expected. However, I would recommend others to suck it up and reap the rewards: the prodigious performances, the lush details of the set and costumes, the music, the pacing, all of it works together to make for a very satisfying and exhilarating couple of hours.

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