August: Osage County, directed by John Wells and based on scribe Tracy Letts‘ own Pulitzer Prize-winning play, looks at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family. With an ensemble cast led by Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, the drama follows this family as they are brought back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, after their father has gone missing and their dysfunctional mother is struggling to cope, suffering from oral cancer and an addiction to narcotics.
August: Osage County has two main qualities going for it. The first is that it has a fantastic cast of quality actors including Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Abigail Breslin, Juliette Lewis, and Benedict Cumberbatch, each of whom give excellent performances and has a brilliant chemistry within their differing relationships. The films second big quality is that it is based on a play, a source material that has already proven to be successful and one that includes a lot of drama. And that’s what I enjoyed most about this film; the drama is non-stop.
I’ve not seen the play to compare but, of course, the story won’t have the same quality on stage as it does on-screen, yet it’s still easy to invest in the characters and their emotions. And that’s what draws you in. If you’ve ever had a relative with any type of cancer then you will find this heartbreaking; if you’ve ever had a family drama, big or small, then you will find something to relate to. I imagine the play is a lot more powerful and the performances more raw, but the film will still spark something in its audience, be it an awkward laugh, a nod in agreement, or a tear of regret.
August: Osage County is set to be released on DVD on 26th May.