August: Osage County Film Review

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I was not immediately drawn to this but the Oscars buzz surrounding it made me have a look and I can understand why Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts have nominated. Their performances are amazing and it is a very high quality film but that does not make it enjoyable.

Meryl stars as Violet, the matriarch of the Weston household, who calls on her daughters when their father goes missing and she has nobody to look after her while she is suffering from mouth cancer and self-medicating with a lot of prescription pills. Barbara (Roberts), Ivy (Julianne Nicholson) and Karen (Juliette Lewis) head back to their old house in the middle of nowhere in Oklahoma and the tensions within the family are evident straight away – which makes for an interesting few days.

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There are some films you watch because you want to be entertained and laugh and enjoy it – this does not come under that category. It is very bleak and looks at the harsh realities of a family who have grown apart and no longer know how to deal with each other. They are mean, bitter, spiteful and shield a lot of deep secrets. It markets itself as a black comedy but found it funny very rarely. This is just a drama if you ask me.

The dialogue is amazing and it is very well written, you cannot deny that. It can be witty and funny one moment then hurtful and scathing the next. The cast is incredible – Sam Shepard, Chris Cooper, Ewan McGregor, Dylan Mulroney, Benedict Cumberbatch, Margo Martindale and Abigail Breslin also star. It is an ensemble piece yet Violet stands out due to her pill-popping cancer-riddled condition and her feud with Barbara takes centre stage.

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It is a very real, raw look at the interactions between family who have been harbouring unresolved issues which have festered and caused resentments. The characterisations are very good but you will still be shocked at how they speak to one another. It really makes you appreciate how uncomplicated or loving your own family is because these guys are one f**ked-up bunch. They hate themselves, they hate each other and there is just resentment and bitterness in every direction. Like I said, the quality of cast and dialogue is so, so high but the enjoyment factor is not there at all.

Comments

  1. Is it fine if I tweet about this blog post?

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