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August: Osage County Review


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#1 of 18 OFFLINE   Yavin

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Posted January 10 2014 - 08:57 AM

Had it been mishandled, the subject matter and the various plot threads could have easily devolved into a comedy of soap opera proportions, but director John Wells expertly navigates the emotional terrain to keep the film feeling grounded. It's effective without being emotionally manipulative or clichéd, and part of that has to do with the fact that not everything is tied up neatly by the time the closing credits start to roll. Just as in real life, the film shows us that relationships can get messy and people don't always change, no matter how much we'd like them to. Wells also keeps August: Osage County feeling relatable by choosing not to strongly rely on humor to carry the film. There are humorous moments to inject levity when needed, but at its core it's a drama, and the humor doesn't detract from that. That's not to say it's a downer — far from it; the film just manages to strike the right tonal balance between somberness and humor, keeping the audience invested and not feeling dejected.

 

3.5 out of 5.

 

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#2 of 18 OFFLINE   Jason_V

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Posted January 11 2014 - 05:34 PM

I felt dirty after the movie, as if these are highly personal things for a family to go through and I had no right to watch for "entertainment."  That being said, I can't fault any of the actors or the script.  It's the nature of the story.

 

The whole Little Charles/Ivy sublot felt like it was there just to give those two actors something to do (though it does provide my favorite moment of the movie when Charles stands up to Mattie Fae regarding Little Charles; they're jut a breaking point for this man who has delt with the insanity of this family for nearly 40 years and he's sick of it.)  I understand every family is like this, with their secrets and dramas.  But this crowd felt almost artificially drama heavy.

 

It's a 3.5 for me, too.



#3 of 18 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted January 20 2014 - 07:08 PM

August: Osage County stars a family that is mildly darkly humorous, but is fully, terribly toxic. The matriarch, played by the impressive Meryl Streep, emotionally brutalizes her family in epic verbal tirades. And that's the problem: the family is awful. It is two hours emotional destruction. And the movie's twists move beyond increasing the stakes and hit self-parody in its goal of creating the most dysfunctional family possible.The cast is superb. The performances will garner noms and awards.But it is not enjoyable. Not recommended.

#4 of 18 OFFLINE   lisette_marie

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Posted January 24 2014 - 06:51 AM

Nice acting of streep , you really start to understand and hate her more and more At the same time I didnt really grasp the movie ... I adore the playing of ewan and heMostly chooses good scripts i think but this one i didn't get ... Tormented is the wright word i guess ... You could watch it for the acting but not for the story or the end iff You ask me

#5 of 18 OFFLINE   Jason_V

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Posted January 24 2014 - 07:55 AM

I didnt really grasp the movie ...

 

It's all about a dysfunctional family and their secrets coming out at the worst possible time.  They have to learn to accept one another, warts and all.



#6 of 18 OFFLINE   lisette_marie

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Posted January 25 2014 - 12:38 PM

Maybe i wanted it to be about more then that ( the dirt of a family ) and i was still waiting for it ...

#7 of 18 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted January 25 2014 - 07:42 PM

I thought this was pretty terrible. The problem isn't that the acting isn't good - it's very good.  Or that the portrayals aren't good - they are.  It's just that the story rotates between trumped up boring and repellant. I couldn't get into it, and when the story sucks, it's hard to go up from there.


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#8 of 18 OFFLINE   Jason_V

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Posted January 26 2014 - 07:39 AM

Maybe i wanted it to be about more then that ( the dirt of a family ) and i was still waiting for it ...

 

So this was a problem between expectation vs. reality for you?  That I can understand.



#9 of 18 OFFLINE   lisette_marie

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Posted January 26 2014 - 10:07 AM

I guess i have that a lot , maybe i just think to much and to far sometimes But still we cant ignore being influenced directly and indirectly by the media before we see the film itself They overload us with trailers and reviews before we even see the begin credits off it ...

#10 of 18 OFFLINE   Jason_V

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Posted January 26 2014 - 10:09 AM

No argument there.  I have friends who don't watch trailers and I personally don't read a review until I see the movie (but I watch trailers).  Expectations vs. reality still comes down to the individual movie goer, though.  If you expect nothing, you'll almost always be pleasantly surprised.  If you expect the best movie ever made, you will almost always be disappointed.



#11 of 18 OFFLINE   lisette_marie

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Posted January 26 2014 - 10:23 AM

Indeed. One of the best movies i saw was in a tiny cinema with 3 other people And i didnt know what it was about , and till this day i am so happy I entered that little room to come out blown away ( wintersleepers tom tykwer ) I hate that we are stocked with all this media , i seek the pureness in films I hope to learn from it also sometimes and maybe thats why i joined here to Share thoughts independant from who gets the financial substituted oscar ... Lowering expectations is so hard sometimes though ...

#12 of 18 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted January 27 2014 - 04:51 AM

From the lowered expectations dept: I had heard all about the over acting and over the top toxicity. I partly decided to see it for its MST3K potential. I thought it could be the kind of film you love to hate. But (as it's obvious by now) I really enjoyed it. Not to say some of the complaints aren't valid. And I would have loved the film if had as less well known cast with a lighter touch - Streep seemed like she was in some darker, more serious movie. I say that because I laughed. A lot, actually. Having never seen the play, I didn't realize this was a black comedy. Or maybe that's just me.

#13 of 18 OFFLINE   lisette_marie

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Posted January 27 2014 - 12:24 PM

No indeed, at a moment there i laughed too ... She was like an evil witch sometimes Vomiting her fear, anger, frustrations and thoughts over her closes family. It had indeed more the feeling of a play then a movie sometimes I think many people would go see that play with such a cast

#14 of 18 OFFLINE   Jason_V

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Posted January 28 2014 - 07:11 AM

Not with the play running over 3 hours they won't.



#15 of 18 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted January 28 2014 - 05:10 PM

I didn't know it was based on a play. That explains why it had overly long monologues.



#16 of 18 OFFLINE   Jason_V

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Posted January 28 2014 - 08:01 PM

It sure does!  Three and a half hours, to be specific.  Tracy Letts, the playwright, also adapted for the screen. 

 

At 2 hours, my patience with this group of people was strained.  I can't imagine nearly double that.



#17 of 18 OFFLINE   Bob Cashill

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Posted January 28 2014 - 10:11 PM

The play is an intensely immersive, a pressure cooker. It simmers and erupts. The movie races to the climaxes, basically sprinting through the second of its three acts (omitting some great material along the way, including my favorite line). And it had an amazing, semi-abstract set. And actors better suited to the material (Letts' dad played Bev, who is alone onstage for the first ten or so minutes before vanishing).Other than all that the movie's fine... :)

#18 of 18 OFFLINE   Cinescott

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Posted January 31 2014 - 12:43 PM

The casting of Ewan McGregor and Benedict Cumberbatch seemed a bit off to me. McGregor's accent slipped noticeably a couple of times and Cumberbatch just didn't seem like he belonged in that role.

 

I also felt a bit of discomfort as the disastrous lives of these characters became more and more apparent. That combined with the dark, musty interiors gave me kind of a depressed feeling. I didn't sense that there would be some revelatory denouement to help the characters through their pain.

 

I liked Sam Shepard and Meryl Streep in their roles, but those are the only two who stood out for me. 


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