August: Osage County (DVD)
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Violet Weston has cancer and a propensity for pills and alcohol. She's a difficult woman to deal with and her husband has finally had enough. Violet's family gathers including youngest daughter Ivy, middle daughter Karen (with her new fiancé), eldest daughter Barbara (with her separated husband and teenage daughter), and her sister Mattie Fae (with her husband and son in tow). A family tragedy causes tensions to run high and secrets to come out. The Weston women will be forced to examine themselves and their lives whether they want to or not. Welcome to Osage County, Oklahoma in the sweltering heat of August.
Marguerite, South Africa. 7 August 2014
The theme of sibling rivalry (particularly among sisters) as a dramatic device, is as old as the hills. Shaskespeare used it in KING LEAR, Diane Kaeton used it to comic effect in her film HANGING UP, and Tracy Letts has adapted her stage play for this blistering tale of a dysfunctional family whose withered relationships are as barren as the surrounding Oklahoma landscape. Sam Shepard plays Beverly Weston, an alcoholioc poet who is at the end of his tether with his drug-addicted, chain-smoking, cancer stricken wife Violet (superbly portrayed by Golden Globe & Oscar nominated Meryl Streep). Their three daughters represent the three points of a decidedly lopsided triangle - venomous Barbara (a remarkable, multi-award nominated performance by Julia Roberts), unassuming Ivy (Julianne Nicholson) and flighty Karen (Jeliette Lewis). Their menfolk provide the counterpoints to their clashing personalities - Ewan McGragor as Barbara's long-suffering, but now estranged, husband Bill, Benedict Cumberbatch as the browbeaten cousin Little Charles and Dermot Mulroney as Karen's shifty fiance Steve. Violet's sister Mattie Fae (Margo Martindale) and her brother-in-law Charles (Chris Cooper) complete the family which is thrown together one hot August day when Beverly goes missing.
One cannot fault the acting, but the foul language and the verbal and physical abuse are extremely disturbing. Not a film that I would want to see again.
Lesley, South Africa. 8 March 2015
One of those movies we are told we should like and when watching wonder why. Yes the performers we good, the acting brilliant but at the end, nothing. Am sorry but wonder what the rave was about.
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