Films: August: Osage County

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  • Friday, November 15, 8:00 PM
    Ellie Caulkins Opera House


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August: Osage County

August: Osage County

USA, 2013, 130 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Comedy, Drama, Family Issues, Womens Issues
Programs: Special Presentation, Women + Film
Language: English

DIRECTOR: John Wells
Producer: George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Steve Traxler, Harvey Weinstein
Editor: Stephen Mirrione
Screenwriter: Tracy Letts
Cinematographer: Adriano Goldman
Principal Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Ewan McGregor, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Abigail Breslin, Juliette Lewis, Sam Shepard, Chris Cooper

ENDS THURSDAY at the Sie FilmCenter.

The film adaptation of Tracy Letts’s Broadway phenomenon, this darkly funny family drama tells the story of the highly dysfunctional Westons, who once scattered to the winds and are now forced to return to the home they once shared. The occasion is the death of family patriarch Beverly (Sam Shepard), a gentle, poetic soul who stands in stark contrast to his spouse, Violet (Meryl Streep). Vi is a bruising, battering harpy whose interest in “truth-telling” stokes old fires, reopens old wounds and lays waste to the human landscape around her.

Filled with the histrionics of slamming doors and smashing crockery, the story evokes the bracing, devastating kind of theatrical experience created by the likes of Eugene O’Neill, Edward Albee, Tennessee Williams, and Arthur Miller. But the focus is on the female, particularly Vi and her eldest daughter, Barbara (Julia Roberts). The cancer-stricken, pill-popping Vi has even less to lose than usual and everything to gain by taking center stage in the theatrics, as the de facto family reunion brings fresh targets into her sights. Her middle child, Ivy, has a secret crush on her first cousin, Little Charles, and is about to find out an even deeper secret. Vi’s youngest, Karen, arrives with an unsavory character (Dermot Mulroney) who is supposedly her fiancé, while Barb gets to be humiliated at the dinner table with revelations about her estranged husband (Ewan McGregor).

The stellar cast also includes Chris Cooper and Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine). The play won five Tony Awards in 2008, including Best Play.


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