Cinematic Releases - August: Osage County

It's August in Osage County. Now come out swingin'!

A film that could have easily been a tour de force for a sublime cast is strangely one of the most claustrophobic, muddled, and unappealing films of 2013. We all know that stage plays do not always translate well to the screen. In the instance of August: Osage County, it's not only a disappointment but a disaster that turns Julia Roberts in to a raving foul mouthed lunatic and Meryl Streep in to an unlikable drug riddled family matriarch that tears her family apart at every turn. I guess their performances are a success if they can draw this type of scathing character from themselves, but all in all the movie is hard to watch as none of the people they portray have any redeeming qualities.

 "Khan, everything will be okay if you
destroy these raving women
with your superhuman strength!"
August: Osage County lines up the depressing twists and unbearably sad plot devices like nothing else from 2013. We're given terrible men that cheat, others that have tendencies towards young girls, incestuous relationships, verbally abusive mothers, drug addicts, and weak men that won't stand up for themselves in any dire situation. What's not to like about that?

I know not all pictures are pretty, but this was a daunting task to get through and even harder one to like. There is not one thing other than Streep's performance as the drug induced overbearing and mentally unstable mother that gave me any reason to continue watching. It's almost painful to see these actors put themselves through the dramatic anguish of this movie. August: Osage County is like its own additional circle of hell in Dante's Inferno. Your soul cannot be saved from these horrendous people and their agonizing contempt for one another. Its hard to believe they're even a family.
"Bitch!! You're choking me!"

If you like divine suffering, have a knack for sadomasochistic theater or unlikable characters that despise one another, take a shot on August: Osage County. It's a complete misfire for a cast of great actors that really don't have anyone to blame but themselves and the people that decided to put this stage play to film. What could have been a sentimental story about forgiveness and family is sadly one of the biggest failures in some time.

-Review by Chris George