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Review of "AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY"
By Jayne Waterford
Copyrighted © Jayne Waterford, 2014. Written 7th January 2014 First published 8th January 2014 Revised 8th January 2014. Revised 24th May 2014 Revised 3rd January 2015
REVIEW: "AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY" by Jayne Waterford

Violet Weston is a nightmare and another Academy Award® win for Meryl Streep (placing odds at 500:1). In a palate similar to (?)'s "ALL THE KING'S MEN" (?) John Wells brings us "AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY" (2103) starring Streep. As a raw and dying woman she strips herself of all vanity then puts it on as circumstance permits, only to goad and shovel horse-shit on everyone. Streep showed me something new in how brutal Violet is to her family, to her husband. Is it okay to be blaze about this woman's profound ability to move people? But what a treat that her performance is even further augmented by a superlative supporting cast.

And not only are performances in this movie from the prairies of Oklahoma to you superlative but the material these wonderful people are realising is a literary treat. "AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY" is adapted from a play by Tracy Letts, by the playwright herself and she must be very interesting company. Not only did she deliver a smart family born from the loins of a woman twisted by dysfunction and poverty but Letts gave these people brains, articulate brains and then cancer of the tongue.

A poet informs us at the outset he has decided to join the others and then disappears for long enough before he is found dead.

Every time the camera turns to a new cast member we are surprised to see who it is. Barbara is driving to be at her mother's side and itís Julia Roberts. We turn to see who her, "spouse," is and it's Ewan MacGregor. And Karen? It's Juliette Lewis, playing close to type.

Benedict Cumberbatch puts in an unexpectedly good role as Little Charles Aiken, Mattie Fae (Margo Martindale)'s son named for his father, Charlie (Chris Copper). Charlie and Mattie Fae are so in love, such good friends. It's a pleasure.

Little Miss Sunshine herself, Abigail Breslin gives us a great innocent, 14 year old Jean, kind of because she looks like she's had Botox or perhaps because she is very serene, protected by her mother Barbara. Steve Huberbrecht (Dermot Mulroney) is a sleaze bag and Ivy (Julianne Nicholson) is his exact opposite. These two extremes orbit the group balancing the tides.

Together this dysfunctional, drama addicted tribe endure the loss of their much loved patriarch and then escalate to Everest as they out do that definitive shrew Martha (Elizabeth Taylor) in Mike Nichols'

"WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?" (1966). In fact it seems to be Martha Violet puts on as she dresses. Indeed, as an ensemble they leave Roman Polanski's "CARNAGE" (2011) look like a collection of four random strangers who've become entangled in a city as this ensemble is anchored in place.

In the end though it is out-of-control Violet who carries the day with unabated vitriol.

This film is wonderful. But only go and see it if you're smart. 10/10

Copyrighted ©: Jayne Waterford, 2014.

John Wells' "AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY" (2013)
MISERY LOVES FAMILY
Director John Wells
Producers George Clooney, Jean Doumanian, Grant Heslov, Steve Traxler, Harvey Weinstein
Stars Meryl Streep (Violet Weston), Julia Roberts (Barbara Weston), Chris Cooper (Charlie Aiken), Ewan McGregor (Bill Fordham), Margo Martindale (Mattie Fae Aiken), Sam Shepard (Beverly Weston), Dermot Mulroney (Steve Huberbrecht), Julianne Nicholson (Ivy Weston), Juliette Lewis (Karen Weston), Abigail Breslin (Jean Fordham), Benedict Cumberbatch (Little Charles Aiken)
Studio The Weinstein Company
Release Date 1st January 2014
Category Comedy Drama
Running Time 121 minutes (2 hours, 1 minute)
Rating MA15+
Origin Oaklahoma
Distributor Roadshow Films

Official Blurb "A look at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them." - Roadshow Films PR
Director John Wells with star Merryl Streep as Violet Weston.

Copyright © 2013 No unauthorised copying or publication with expressed permission.

A formal funeral dinner.

Copyright © 2013 No unauthorised copying or publication without express permission.

Copyright © 2013 No unauthorised copying or publication without express permission.
(L-R) Karen (Lewis), Violet (Streep), Ivy (Nicholson) and Barbara (Roberts) Copyright © 2013 No unauthorised copying or publication without express permission.
Copyright © 2013 No unauthorised copying or publication without express permission.
Copyright © 2013 No unauthorised copying or publication without express permission.
Copyright © 2013 No unauthorised copying or publication without express permission.