Sunday, July 7, 2013

August Osage County: Misery Loves Family

My emphasis, no, my entire raison d'etre for this blog is movies based on books. It's a fairly focused obsession, as obsessions go but every once in awhile I get dazzled by a project and have to break form. 
August: Osage County is one of those. The movie doesn't come out until the end of the year but I just watched the trailer and, yes, there will be tears. 
Based on the Pulitzer prize-winning play by Tracy Letts, here's the story in brief: ' A look at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them.'
Adapted for the screen by Letts herself, this black comedy features an amazing cast headed by who else but Meryl Streep as the matriarch, Violet.  Just take a gander at all those names hovering over the house in the poster on the left! That's a pretty impressive bunch of talent.

In addition to Streep as matriarch Violet Weston, there's Julia Roberts as her eldest daughter Barbara, Ewan McGregor as Barbara's husband Bill, and Abigail Breslin as their pot smoking daughter, Jean. Juliette Lewis is daughter Karen, newly engaged to Dermot Mulroney, a bit of a sleazoid. Margo Martindale, one of those wonderful actresses you recognize but probably can't name, is Violet's sister, Mattie Fae Aiken. Her husband is played by Chris Cooper with Benedict Cumberbatch as 'Little Charles', their son.   Little Charles and his cousin, Ivy (Julianne Nicholson - no relation to Jack) have a special relationship. A handsomely crusty Sam Shepard is Beverly, Violet's suicidal husband, father to Barbara, Ivy and Karen.

Check out the first trailer for the film and let me know if it moved you as it did me. Julia Roberts, as Barbara, - she's trying to hide the fact that she and her college professor husband (Ewan McGregor) are separated and that he's having an affair with one of his students - has the best line in the trailer. 
"If we knew the future, we'd never get out of bed."  


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