Today’s topic is family drama. Every family has a bit of that — clashing personalities, hidden secrets, festering disappointments.
Toss in some legendary actresses and you’ve got “August: Osage County,” now in theaters. Why the title? Well, the film is set during August, one of the hottest months of the year in Osage County, Okla. It centers on Violet Weston (three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep). Vi, as she’s often called, is aging, hostile and addicted to pills. When her husband turns up missing, leaving her only with their freshly hired Native American housekeeper, her family swarms to her rescue.
This family is made up of the eldest of her three daughters, Barbara (Academy Award winner Julia Roberts), aunt Mattie Fae (Margo Martindale) and a slew of others, all of whom bring their problems with them.
“August: Osage County” is based upon the Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name. The material is wonderful and timeless. You wouldn’t expect a drama that’s almost completely resigned to one setting — the family house in Oklahoma — to have so many highs, lows, twists and thrills, but this one has it all.
Let me just mention the rest of the ensemble cast. You’ve got Chris Cooper, Abigail Breslin, Sam Shephard, Ewan McGregor, Juliette Lewis, Dermot Mulroney and, surprisingly, Mr. Benedict Cumberbatch, who already won so much of my allegiance last week in “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” Everyone’s performances are absolutely perfect in this film, but it is Roberts and Streep who are simply to die for.
I am most definitely a fan!