August: Osage County
Rated R: Comedy/Drama
Director: John Wells
Synopsis: August: Osage County is a dark comedy about a family who lives in the Midwest, in the house wife Violet, played by Meryl Streep grew up in. This story is about two strong willed sisters, one with mouth cancer and pill problem and the other with a secret.
Violet’s husband Beverly, played by Sam Shepard, a teacher and poet who says he drinks because his wife takes pills has just hired a caretaker, a quiet but tough Native American woman, named Johnna, played by Misty Upham to take care of Violet.
Once the new caretaker has moved in, Beverly leaves the house never to return. Violet becomes worried and calls her somewhat crazy sister, Mattie Faye, played by Margo Martindale, who drags her husband over to the house to see how they can help. After some time, Violet calls her three daughters: Barbara, played by Julie Roberts, Ivy played by Julianne Nicholson and Karen, played by Juliette Lewis and they come to help their mother. The family dynamics begin. Barbara is a doting oldest daughter who moved away, Ivy middle sister who stayed in town and looked after mom and dad and then the baby Karen who was the wild daughter. Once the daughters are home the Sheriff comes over to ask someone to come with him to the lake to identify Beverly. The cause of death was an apparent suicide. Barbara identifies her father.
Violet and her daughters have some mother and daughter time. Violet cannot control her caustic attitude and expresses her views openly with her daughters. There are unresolved issues amongst the daughters who have not seen each other in years. Violet and Mattie Faye had a terrible childhood and anger is evident whenever they talk about their dysfunctional mother.
Everyone attends the funeral. Once the funeral is over, the family comes back to the homestead for a funeral dinner. Mattie Faye’s husband, Charlie, played by Chris Cooper decides he will say grace as he is now the patriarch of the family. He starts out well, and then it drags on and on. Everyone in the room is ready for him to shut up! Everyone says amen and it is time to eat.
Then in walks, Charlie and Faye’s only son little Charlie, played by Benedict Cumberbatch. He is a disappointment to Faye and she has no problem telling everyone about his many faults. He apologizes for missing his uncle’s funeral and sits down next to Ivy. No one knows it but he and Ivy are in love. Yes, first cousins or so they think. Tonight Ivy is going to tell the family of their love.
Now the real fun begins. They begin eating and Violet and Faye start talking about the men of the family. It starts with Beverly and then onto Charlie. Then it is open game for every feeling and event that ever happened in the family. Funeral dinner, or brawl, it could have been either.
Karen’s husband, played by Dermot Mulronery is a sleaze who believes he is a ladies man, and begins making advances towards Barbara’s daughter played by Abigail Breslin. After smoking pot with Barbara’s fourteen year old daughter, he begins making advances. Out the door comes the caretaker, Johnna and a broom. She hits him over and over as Abigail Breslin makes her escape. Everyone wakes up and it is war. Barbara has to be held back so she won’t hurt Karen’s man. Karen and almost husband leave in a hurry and everyone goes back to bed.
The next day, Barbara’s husband and daughter leave for home without Barbara. Barbara decides to leave and leaves her father’s old truck. She takes one last look towards her mother’s home and Oklahoma, then she drives off.
Review: I really enjoyed this movie. I laughed and wanted to cry. There were some very funny scenes that were played extremely well by Meryl Streep. Her role as a drug popping cancer patient was impressive. She wore a bad wig and dressed like a throw back from the 60th’s. She could hardly stand up let alone speak so she could be understood.
The daughters were equally good in their role as sisters who had not seen each other for years. They were fiery and had many issues from their own childhood.
The rest of the cast were good. The mixture of comedy and drama was perfect. One minute you felt sad and the next minute you were laughing hysterically. The funeral dinner scene was my favorite, especially the grace told by Charlie.
If you are in a mood to laugh and cry this is a movie for you. If you have never seen an older pill addicted women belittle everyone around her this is also a movie for you.
I guess I was in the right mood for this movie because I really enjoyed it. No therapy this week!