By Gabrielle Gesek
Based on the grotesque yet humorous Pulitzer and Tony-winning play by Tracy Letts, “August: Osage County” continues the tradition of incorporating comic relief into otherwise disturbing events plaguing one family from Oklahoma.
While the acting is top-notch in this film, the story line is twisted, so avoid all expectations of a happy ending in sight. After spending two hours on screen with this family, you will be happy to run home to your family however comparatively abnormal they may be.
Two powerhouse actresses come together in one on-screen force to deliver a performance that will surely not be forgotten.
Meryl Streep plays Violet, a spiteful matriarch and Julia Roberts plays her daughter Barbara in perhaps one of Roberts’ least glamorous, yet most powerful, roles.
The scene is set for the film when Beverly, the patriarch of the family, quotes T.S. Eliot in the first words of the movie with “life is very long.” Already the audience must prepare themselves for an adventure.
Without spoiling the plot, “August: Osage County” essentially follows the Weston family as they attempt to come together during a family crisis but in reality their pasts overshadow any hope for a future as a family.
Beverly is an alcoholic, Violet is addicted to pills and suffers from mouth cancer, Barbara is going through a divorce while trying to keep her young daughter out of constant trouble and Ivy, the younger sister, has crafted her own downfall by falling in love with her “cousin.”
These people are just a few of the characters that spark up the flames of entertainment in this film as every character is involved in some sort of unsettling and disturbing form of trouble.
The more time the family spends with each other the worse-off they become. Secrets, buried for a reason, surface and the Weston’s soon realize why they each live in opposite parts of the country ensuring contact is kept to a minimum.
While the film was well-directed and the acting was phenomenal, the movie was disturbing overall. It is in no way a comedy or a drama for that matter. The film essentially takes on its own genre.
While the film is not on my re-watch list, I would recommend seeing the movie at least once because it pushes the boundaries that many other films shy away from.
The audience is forced to confront and think about uncomfortable topics that truly do leave a lasting impression long after the movie has ended.