August: Osage County [2013] ★★½

DF-11606.CR2Meryl Streep is terrific in “August: Osage County”, the big screen adaptation of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize- winning show, and she’s worth the price of ticket alone. But I wish I liked it more. I was completely captivated from the first moment she appeared onscreen, playing a mother who is fighting cancer and her family at the same time. The death of her husband (Sam Shepard) brings her children and siblings back home for the funeral. Over the next few days, old wounds are reopened and secrets are revealed, especially over the dinner table. This is the part where you ask “And then what happens?” The answer is, a lot and nothing much at the same time. I won’t reveal more, but I can tell you that after a while, I grew tired of this dysfunctional family. To whatever degree the movie succeeds, it is largely because Meryl Streep is so believable as the troubled mother. The rest of the cast includes Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Juliette Lewis, Benedict Cumberbatch and they all do a good job. So as you can see there is so much to admire here and there is no way one can dismiss a film of such high quality. But that doesn’t mean it’s an entirely enjoyable ride.

Rating: 2.5/4

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