On DVD Blu-ray and VOD this Tuesday from director John Wells comes a look at the lives of a dysfunctional group from AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY.
This film tells the story of Violet Weston (Meryl Streep) when husband Bev (Sam Sheppard) goes missing. The family is on high alert and begin to arrive to sadness. Daughters Barbara (Julia Roberts) and husband Bill (Ewan McGregor) have their own problems they are trying to hide from their own kid Jean (Abigail Breslin), daughter Ivy (Julianne Nichols) keeps to herself and finally daughter Karen (Juliette Lewis) being flighty with her own boyfriend Steve (Dermot Mulroney).
Violet’s sister Mattie (Margo Martindale) and husband Charlie (Chris Cooper) are just trying to keep the family from losing control while dealing with their own son Charles (Benedict Cumberbatch).
This is a family with secrets buried within secrets and the more time they spend together the more each tale needs to be told – with a little wine anything can happen!
FINAL WORD: Streep as Violet is stellar! I love when she gets a chance to be a cynical, out of control type character that has a biting humor and great one-liners. In this character Streep gets to excel at every one of these. Her scenes with Roberts are amazing and there doesn’t seem to be a subject matter here that she doesn’t take head on and full force.
Roberts as Barbara definitely has issues that are just waiting to be let out. Obviously preferring the relationship with her father, Barbara is now forced to deal with the demons she has been wrestling with if she’s ever to have a semblance of a mother-daughter deal. Like Streep she is equally good at the snappy one-liners and moments of pure spit and vinegar.
Breslin as Jean is obviously following in the footsteps of all the women in the family taking nothing and no one’s garbage. Lewis as Karen is the flakey daughter who really isn’t flakey – she just wants things simple and easy. Nichols as Ivy is the daughter who is going to have to stand up if life is going to help her escape the madness.
Martindale as Mattie never disappoints! In this role she is many things to the different family members but is, I think, carrying the biggest secret of them all. Nope, not saying anything more about that! Cumberbatch as Charlie is a little disarming to watch. I’m never quite sure if he really is that disconnected or is the product of a crazy environment.
McGregor as Bill plays the stereotypical man of a certain age who seems to need the company of someone younger than his wife! Mulroney as Steve is just a douche bag and if you didn’t call that early in the movie then I’m scared for you!
Cooper once again turns in an amazing performance! Surrounded by these slightly off balanced women he has to be the ‘person’ of reason! I just adored the scene when he lets everyone know how he’s keenly aware of the secrets they’ve tried so hard to protect. Sheppard as Bev has a short role but one that is so self explanatory!
Other cast includes: Misty Uphan as Johanna Monevata, Will Coffey as Sheriff Gilbeau and Newel Alexander as Dr. Burke.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY three tubs of popcorn out of five. This is a funny and sad look at a family that is holding on by a thread. The cast is completely spectacular and it moves quickly from start to finish. You can’t turn your back on any of these characters or you can miss something!
The DVD’s special features include deleted scenes and a commentary with director John Wells and Adriano Goldman along with The Making of August: Osage County and a featurette On Writing With Tracy Letts.
This is a wonderful Blu-ray combo pack to own from Anchor Bay Entertainment and The Weinstein Company.
In the end – misery loves family.