‘August: Osage County’ FFCC Reviews

FFCC members review John Wells’ August: Osage County.



Dan Hudak Hudak on Hollywood

“In the annals of dysfunctional families in cinema, the Westons of “August: Osage County” rank near the top. Alcoholic patriarch Beverly (Sam Shepard) is so fed up with wife Violet’s (Meryl Streep) pill-popping nastiness that he runs away. Daughters Barbara (Julia Roberts), Ivy (Julianne Nicholson) and Karen (Juliette Lewis) all have serious issues of their own. As for the unfortunate men attached to the girls, well, they’re not exactly dreamboats either.”

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Hans MorgensternHollywood.com

“As directed by John Wells, the film version of August: Osage County may not feel like a fun movie, but it’s a terrific study of a family on the brink. As he steers the drama to slow-burning heights, anger both repressed and unchecked coil around each other like two boa constrictors trying to consume the other. The lengthy conversations swell to epic confrontations that are a sight to behold.”

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Connie Ogle – The Miami Herald

“Letts has adapted his play into a film, cutting it down to a manageable 130 minutes and maintaining most of its dark comedy. But the transformation is not without a few bumps. The misleading feel-good trailers would have you believe Letts’ story is an upbeat reminder of the unbreakable bonds of family. The play is something else altogether, so why Letts tacked on a semi-hopeful ending is a mystery (and an ill-conceived mystery at that). You’re not supposed to feel good about life’s possibilities after seeing August: Osage County. You’re supposed to be devastated.”

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Steve PersallTampa Bay Times

“From the moment Meryl Streep appears in August: Osage County, slinking from the shadows with angry, addled eyes and chemo-singed hair, viewers know they’re in for acting with a capital “A.” Be assured Streep won’t let us down, in a rafter-rattling performance that’s pure prosciutto: classy ham.”

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Ruben RosarioMiami Sun Post

“As it stands, Wells thinks he’s making a Southern fried hybrid of Long Day’s Journey Into Night and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? But the stern tone he sustains most of the running time leeches the film of the pitch-black humor that, for me, remains Letts most valuable asset. They should have taken a cue from Scorsese and his team, and gone for the funny-bone jugular.”

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Skip SheffieldSkip Sheffield’s Flix

“August” is an actor’s showcase, and in this case director John Wells (“The Company Men”) has pit Meryl Streep against her entire family, but in particular eldest daughter Barbara, played by Julia Roberts.A monumental soap opera of arguing, abuse, betrayal, cruelty, pettiness and even incest ensues. In fairness it is a first-rate cast playing horrible people.If this all sounds intriguing, by all means see “August: Osage County.” Be advised there is no happy ending, only a final quote from one of T.S. Eliot’s darkest poems. For me, one visit was enough.”

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