28 March 2016

August Osage County

August Osage County
  • Directors: John Wells
  • Based on the play by Tracy Letts
  • Cast: Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper, Ewan McGregor, Margo Martindale, Sam Shepard, Dermot Mulroney, Julianne Nicholson, Juliette Lewis, Abigail Breslin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Misty Upham
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in:
    • Meryl Streep – Into the Woods, Mamma Mia, A Prairie Home Companion, Angels in America, The Hours, Music of the Heart, Marvin’s Room, The Bridges of Madison County, The House of the Spirits, Defending Your Life, Postcards from the Edge, Ironweed, Out of Africa, Sophie’s Choice, Silkwood, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Kramer vs Kramer, Deer Hunter, Holocaust, Julia
    • Julia Roberts – Closer, Mona Lisa’s Smile, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Erin Brockovich, Runaway Bride, Notting Hill, The Conspiracy Theory, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Michael Collins, Mary Reilly, The Pelican Brief, Hook, Sleeping with the Enemy, Pretty Woman, Steel Magnolias
    • Chris Cooper – The Tempest, The Bourne Identity, American Beauty, October Sky, Matewan
    • Ewan McGregor – Perfect Sense, Mortdecai, The Impossible, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, The Ghost Writer, Stay, Star Wars I-III, Big Fish, Young Adam, Moulin Rouge, Little Voice, Velvet Goldmine, A Life Less Ordinary, Brassed Off, Trainspotting, Shallow Grave
    • Margo Martindale – Paris je t’aime, Million Dollar Baby, The Human Stain, The Hours, 28 Days, Homicide Life on the Streets, Practical Magic, Marvin’s Room, Dead Man Walking
    • Sam Shepard – The Pledge, Hamlet, Snow Falling on Cedars, The Pelican Brief, Steel Magnolias
    • Dermot Mulroney – Burn After Reading, Undertow, Friends, About Schmidt, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Kansas City, Living in Oblivion
    • Julianne Nicholson – nothing but I’d like to
    • Juliette Lewis – The Darwin Awards, Hysterical Blindness, Strange Days, After Hours, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Romeo Is Bleeding
    • Abigail Breslin – Little Miss Sunshine
    • Benedict Cumberbatch - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Creation, The Other Boleyn Girl, Atonement, Amazing Grace, Starter for 10, To Kill a King
    • Misty Upham – Frozen River, Auf Wiedersehen Pet
  • Why? the cast
  • Seen:  26 March 2016      

       Meryl Streep takes pills. Her husband Sam Shepard drinks and quotes T.S. Eliot. She’s a wreck, foul-mouthed, racist, aggressive and dying of cancer. He functions after a fashion but early in the film he kills himself.
       The family gathers at the Oklahoma homestead. Julia Roberts and Ewan McGregor have marital problems. Chris Cooper and Margo Martindale have been married nearly forty years and one wonders how he, a nice enough guy, can stand her; she’s as bad as her sister Meryl Streep. Juliette Lewis shows up with her umpteenth man Steve who drives a red sports car and attempts to maul Robert and McGregor’s fourteen-year-old daughter. Cooper and Martindale’s wimpy cowed son Benedict Cumberbatch is involved with the third sister Julianne Nicholson. They’re cousins. Or so they believe.
       Guilt trips, manipulation, viciousness, favouritism. Everybody is so mean, except those who are the recipients of the meanness. They all have their secrets and demons. It’s horrible. And fascinating. Meryl Streep has never been better and the rest aren’t far behind. Streep and Roberts got Oscar nominations (Jennifer Lawrence and Ann Hathaway won).
       It’s a very good film. And very hard to take.

4 * of 5

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