August: Osage County directed by John Wells

By in Reviews

I must tell you there were not many people in the movie theatre when I went to see this film despite two Academy Awards nominations for best actress in a first and a second role but 4 people have also left during the screening. The film is long, very long.

Adapted from a successful play, the film barely takes off; a drama overlaps with another tragedy and another drama etc … a plot that could work in a play but not in a movie theater at least not like this. It could have been a good movie, the theme of the mother / daughter relationship in its heart amongst the plains of Oklahoma. The film’s subject here is how “monsters” moms  breed “monsters” babies and it is displayed more or less subtly (note how well the character played by Julia Roberts turns into her mother).

It is very difficult to make a story about an unsympathetic character, in the best case you hate him/her in the worst you don’t care. Meryl Street embodies so well this cruel and sick woman that I almost wanted the film to stop and leave the woman alone with her misanthropy. Fortunately, you can hang the character played by Julia Roberts, Barbara who is perfect in this role. She gives a little life and excitement to the film, which is mired in problems. Benedict Cumberbatch whose character is a simpleton is implausible, Juliette Lewis’s one is silly which is not great either. 

Over all, the characters are way too stereotyped for actors with that much talent. Indeed Julia Roberts pulls out of the game and Margo Martindale is totally credible in her character of Meryl Streep’s sister and of an abusive mother. Efforts of  staging (shots of flights of birds à la Malick , original perspectives … ) fail to get this film more exciting . We add to this an original score that reinforces the pathos of the story.

Ultimately, like the characters in this film, we want to escape from boredom that is Osage County.

Expert in indie movies. with instagram filters. #Sundance


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