A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
An incredible ensemble of talent, led by Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, the Westen family and extended members are gathered to morn the tragic passing of alcoholic poet, grandfather and husband Beverly Weston (Sam Shepard). Of course, family gatherings are never normal, and “August: Osage County” adheres to this fact tenfold.
To label this mixed and messed up family as highly dysfunctional would be an understatement. Filled with so many different stories including divorce, multiple remarriages, secrets, lies and deceit, the action never stops in this crescendo of tension, awkwardness and stress.
Meryl Streep is outstanding as Violet Westen; a cancer stricken, pill-popping mother of three who lives in denial and has absolutely no filter whatsoever, while Julia Roberts as highly stressed daughter Barbara is also remarkable.
As chaotic as you’ll get, the dinner scene is not to be missed. Like a boxing match with several rounds, the arguing and yelling builds and builds, sustains itself for a while and is then interrupted with a witty remark, like the end of a round. They take a breather, but, as with boxing, the next round shortly begins and the process repeats itself until the climactic knockout blow ends it all.
Overall the film originally adapted from a play is a sad tale that is quite emotional on many levels, given the layered structure of the storyline. The serious undertones of this out of control family are expressed mostly with back humour, yet ultimately the film is quite serious.
As the tagline states, Misery loves family.