August: Osage County appears to be one of those controversial movies in which critics and the public are in disagreement over. So far, the critics are not pleased.
Even though it has a stellar cast and some of Hollywood’s favorite stars, including Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, Ewan McGregor, and the latest British sensation Benedict Cumberbatch, movie critics are less than excited.
August: Osage County is based on the 2007 Pulitzer Prize winning play by Tracy Letts. A dark comedy, which takes place over a period of several weeks in August, in Osage County Oklahoma.
The film is about a dysfunctional family, led by Violet Weston (Streep), that is forced to come together and confront the past when tragedy strikes.
Most reviews suggest the public would be better off watching the play than going to see Streep and Roberts give two masterful performances as mother and daughter in August: Osage County.
Some of what critics who are reviewing the film are saying:
Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times:
“Despite a pedigree that includes five Tonys in addition to that Pulitzer and a cast of gifted actors that is a full dozen deep, August: Osage County does nothing but disappoint, with all the talent involved simply underlining how uninvolving this material is.
A.O. Scott of The New York Times had this to say:
“Another way to think of August: Osage County, which was directed by John Wells and adapted by Tracy Letts from his own play, is as a thespian cage match. Within a circumscribed space, a bunch of unquestionably talented performers is assembled with no instructions other than to top one another. One twitchy confession must be excelled by another. The same with smoldering, sarcastic speeches, explosions of tears, wistful jags of nostalgia and imperious gazes of disgust.
David Edelstein of Vulture:
“August: Osage County has no subtext to speak of; it’s all bellowed into your face. On Broadway, its Chicago actors knew how to modulate their performances and together build the tension, beat by beat. But director John Wells fractures the action, jumping back and forth between stars in close-up yelling at one another in the style of a more profane Steel Magnolias.”
Scott Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter also chimed in, saying:
“The dialogue-heavy dramedy… unfolds largely like a filmed play… What are we supposed to come away from this experience thinking and feeling? That we are fortunate in that our problems are not as bad as these people’s? I’m not sure that’s going to prove enough for most awards voters, particularly in such a competitive year.”
These may not be the best review the movie has, but there are some other critics that appreciate what has been done with August: Osage County read more here.