Friday, January 10, 2014
August Osage County Review
Ah, this piece of work. It's such amazing material. I WORSHIP Tracy Letts. I read the play 6 years ago and I still love it. What an incredibly funny and memorable piece of work. I saw it in San Francisco with my father about 6 years ago as well with the Oscar winning actress Estelle Parsons as Violet. And it was fantastic. It's one of my VERY favorite plays, right up there with Angels In America and Long Day Journey Into Night.
Anyway though, could I not love the film as well? It's hard to go wrong with such great material and to me, the film does a terrific job of capturing all they can capture of it. I completely disagree with the critics that think that it's overcooked or too stagey. I think the story is so amazing and it stays so remarkably faithful to the play that everything works. Yes, I missed some scenes (The scenes between Jonna and Jean) as well as the internal relationship that one has with these great characters through reading the play so many times, but it definitely was a great movie.
When it comes to Meryl Streep, she was certainly fantastic as Violet Weston, the pill-popping wife of Beverly Weston, a man who kills himself in order to end the terribleness of their lives together. Meryl does such a wonderfully detailed, job at playing all of the layers and the details of the part and she certainly has excellent delivery of Lett's brutally mean, yet incredibly funny dialogue. I guess it's perhaps I love Violet so much, but I think that Meryl captures her so well. I think her big scenes, the scenes where she's very high on pills, are a little over the top and "Meryl" like, but she's so good that I don't care. What a great performance. I also really liked Margo Martindale as Mattie Fae which is a such a fabulous part and she certain;y gets everything out of it. It's too bad that she most likely won't be nominated. My only complaint would be that she doesn't always make her as fun or as strong as she could be (part of it is that they cut one of her big scenes that I'm partial to), but she is terrific none the less. I also really thought Misty Upham was a standout as well playing such a mysterious character, and Julianne Nicholson was quite good as well. Julia Roberts sometimes felt a bit too one note for me and part the reason why is that I missed the relationship that I have with her character in the play. But she was still very strong and a nomination is worthy.
I would highly reccomend this film: It is a wonderful one. Don't listen to the critics! READ THE PLAY!! If you haven't figured it out, I'm a big fan of it!