Wednesday, March 26, 2014

August: Osage County

Film: August: Osage County KL086 Singapore to Amsterdam
My film viewing was curtailed over the past week as I have been attending the IB 2014 Asia Pacific Regional Conference in's tough but someone had to do it!
I have never been a huge fan of watching in flight movies, preferring the big screen experience. However as part of my strategy for sleeping on my return to The Netherlands I wanted to spend the early part of the flight watching a film. August:Osage County has been on my watch list for some time having seen trailers where Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts appear to be on top form.
The film film certainly embodies the matriarchal society in its most powerful form, we meet the force of nature that is Violet Weston (Streep) and her immediate family following the possibly self inflicted demise of husband Beverly. Violet had been diagnosed and is being treated for mouth cancer as we saw earlier in the story. I think it ironic that such torrents of abuse cascade from the area which is causing Violet such pain. The object of this bile is eldest daughter Barbara (Roberts). Barbara is quite capable of looking after herself 'like mother like daughter'

Violet's other daughters do not escape the wrath of Violet whose intolerance while part of her character is also being driven by the medication being somewhat oversubscribed by her doctor. Violet gives Streep the opportunity to show her full acting power and her onscreen presence is played off effectively against Roberts who is similarly blessed. Mention should also be made of Margo Martindale playing Violet's sister Mattie Fae.
Interesting then that the undoubtedly strong male cast members are all consigned to to pay 'bit parts' around the lives of the Weston women. It can't be often that Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch and Chris Cooper went so unnoticed in a film.
August: Osage County was first seen as a Pulitzer Prize winning play of the same name back in 2007. The film does show its origins as many of the scenes are based within Violet's house and have the feel of 'set pieces'. This does not however distract from the excellent performances from Streep and her acting sisters.
IMDb gives the film a score of 7.4 while Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 64% and an audience score of 71% presently. I am of the opinion that for all of its faults,  the performances of Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts alone are worth an 8.6.
The film set up a fine flight for me, we had 'lights out' just after the conclusion which for me heralded 3 hours sleep. An excellent result I think you will agree.

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