Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Movie Review: "August: Osage County" (2013)

Movie"August: Osage County"
Director: John Wells
Rating: R
Running Time: 2 hours, 1 minute
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After her father goes missing, Barbara Weston (Julia Roberts) returns to her childhood home in Osage County, Oklahoma with her married-but-separated husband Bill (Ewan McGregor) and their daughter Jean (Abigail Breslin) to help Barbara's cancer-ridden, drug addicted mother Violet (Meryl Streep). Shortly after arriving, it turns out that her father Beverly (Sam Shepard) has actually committed suicide. Upon learning this, her entire family is called into town for the funeral, including her flaky younger sister Karen (Juliette Lewis), the older sister who never left town named Ivy (Julianne Nicholson), their pushy, loud-mouth aunt Mattie Fae (Margo Martindale), their reasonable uncle Charlie (Chris Cooper), and their cousin little Charles (Benedict Cumberbatch). Throughout the course of the weekend, there is a lot of tension and much fighting. Family secrets are revealed and relationships are destroyed in the name of "truth telling."

It's easy to see why people might not like this movie. Think of every horrible subject matter you can. Short of Nazis and genocide, everything other horrible thing in the world is featured prominently in "August: Osage County." It's a downer, folks, a huge downer.

Meryl, Meryl, Meryl. My queen. My spirit animal. My love.
It amazes me how people can't/don't/won't like Meryl Streep.
She is just....undeniably the best. It is a pleasure to watch her act, even when her character is insufferable, like the one in this movie.

Julia Roberts did not grinding on our last nerve in this movie. Where I come from, we're not Julia Roberts fans. I get that from my mama. Roberts has this annoying laugh/yell thing that she feels the need to do every. damn. movie. Well, she doesn't do that here. She's definitely out of her comfort zone because this movie is so dark and tragic and doesn't allow her to eat, pray, or love, but she does a very fine job in her role as Barbara.
Chris Cooper was the only fully, likable and decent person in this family of crazies, and his fantastic acting really drives that point home. He did a great job with what he was given and we are glad he stuck up for his son Little Charlie, played by the ever-prominent Benedict Cumberbatch. Again....can we just all collectively agree that he should voice everything for the rest of eternity???

You really feel for almost all of the characters except for Streep's Violet. Right when the movie starts, you feel a slight twinge of sadness for her; she is obviously very sick, but then you're quickly introduced to the insufferable bitch that she is as she talks down to her husband, her housekeeper, and pretty much anyone that crosses her path.

One thing we will say about the film is that with all of the drama playing out, it really does seem likes it's better suited for the stage. The dialogue at some points in the movie are definitely "theater-esque," and you can almost tell that virtually no one would ever say some of the lines in real life, or even in a movie, unless it was written for a stage play. Most of the movie played out just fine, but a few scenes were obviously "written."

Like we mentioned above, this movie is sad, dark, and depressing...it's probably one of the hardest movies I've ever had to watch. I felt completely physically drained after the film was over. I was sitting in the theater, in tears almost to the point of sobbing, wanting to envelop my mom, my grandma, my mom's fiance, my brother, my grandpa, my brother-in-law, my niece and nephew, everyone, into one massive, gigantic, never-ending hug. This movie is full of terrible people, selfish children, philandering men, and hurtful, mean-spirited parents. If you think your family is bad or dramatic or batshit crazy, we implore you: WATCH THIS MOVIE. You will not feel that way after watching it. And, if your family in any way resembles this one, God Speed, and GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN.

My Rating: 8/10
BigJ's Rating: 8/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 64%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

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