January 16, 2014

Movie Review: August: Osage County ****1/2

August: Osage County  is a story of the ultimate dysfunctional family. Well, maybe there is no such thing.
Aren't all families dysfunctional? Is this family more dysfunctional than most? Hopefully. Perhaps it's a bit overblown. It's not a perfect film; it reaches a little too far for humor and pathos but who cares, really, when it's so riveting and powerful?
Meryl Streep's performance could easily have gone over the edge, but doesn't. Julia Roberts is mostly wonderful as the controlling but absent daughter. I'm not a big Juliette Lewis fan so let me just say her performance was fine. The other many performances are all strong, but the subtle star of the film is Julianne Nicholson who plays the middle daughter with grace, elegance and authenticity.
The film is not getting rave reviews by the (other) critics but I was moved and stunned and surprised and angered. A film that evokes all of those emotions just has to be defined as successful.
Four and a half stars of five for August: Osage County.
P.S. Read my review of the play.

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