We took another look at August Osage County on Netflix. The 2013 movie is based on a play by Tracey Letts. The Author says that he based the play on personal experience. He must have come from a very dysfunctional family, because the family in this movie is severely maladjusted. (Letts also wrote the screenplay) Gary said that the second viewing left him admiring the actors’ brilliance so much that he would grade the movie higher than we did in 2013. However, I’ll let the original movie review stand because I don’t think I could do any better today.
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY: Put this many top-notch actors in the same house and the result has to be worth watching. The movie is based on a play by Tracey Letts, and, although I’ve never seen it onstage, I can tell that it probably works better in that form. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the movie version. The wildly dysfunctional family depicted here does a lot of shouting, and that put off some of the critics. I didn’t mind the high volume, but it was the quieter scenes that made the movie for me. The marvelous Margo Martindale is good in every scene, but when she quietly reveals a family secret to Julia Roberts, she is memorable. The other actor who stood out for me was Julianne Nicholson, who, as the family wallflower, has such dignity. Chris Cooper has always been a favorite of mine and he shines in two scenes: his funeral dinner prayer and his confrontation with his wife (Martindale). Of course Meryl Streep as the loud, drug addicted, and frequently coarse mother is good, but the best performance may indeed be that of Julia Roberts. When a sister accuses her of being a duplicate of her mother, she walks in the house and glances at herself in the mirror. It’s just a moment in time, but I will not soon forget it. Juliette Lewis is the flighty youngest sister. She brings a date to her father’s funeral, although she defends it because he (Dermot Mulrooney) is her fiancée. Abagail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine), Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch and Sam Shephard, in a brief scene, round out the Weston family. There isn’t much fun in this family and the intense dysfunction can wear on a viewer, so I’m not surprised that reviews are mixed. Since I am one of three sisters, I expect the film was more significant for me than for Gary. We agreed on a grade of B. GRADE B