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Great cast makes 'August: Osage County' worthwhile

Jan. 30, 2014 @ 07:20 AM

Movies & More reviewer John Gillispie appreciated the work of the talented cast in “August: Osage County,” which is rated R and stars Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts.

The family members in “August: Osage County” have plenty of personal grudges and issues with one another and a couple of interesting secrets as well. But, this is one family that does not resolve its problems when the movie ends.

Meryl Streep stars as Violet Weston, who has cancer and seems to be addicted to prescrip­tion medications. She’s married to Beverly Weston (played by Sam Shepard) and the mother of three daughters — Barbara (Julia Roberts), Ivy (Julianne Nichol­son) and Karen (Juliette Lewis).

A tragic event brings the fam­ily together and the interactions are less than pleasant. Streep’s character is not very nice, but she seems to be struggling with a lot of issues, including her illness. Violet seems jealous of the relationship between her husband and Barbara. It may be because Barbara seems to be her favorite child despite Ivy’s attempts to care for her. Violet is not very nice to Karen, who is flighty and engaged to Steve (played by Dermot Mulroney).

Meanwhile, Barbara is having her own relationship problems with her husband (played by Ewan McGregor) and teenage daughter (played by Abigail Breslin).

The entertaining Margo Mar­tindale plays Violet’s sister Mattie Fae, who is married to Charles (played by Chris Cooper). Bene­dict Cumberbatch portrays their son, Little Charles. Charles seems devoted to his wife and son, yet Mattie Fae is unkind to Little Charles. Misty Upham is good as Johnna, who has recently moved into Violet’s home to cook and care for her.

“August: Osage County” has a great cast and the movie has more than one big surprise, but it is depressing despite some comic moments.

While I realize that some people may not like a movie where the characters don’t work out their problems, I enjoyed seeing so many talented people in one movie. “August: Osage County” seemed realistic in that its char­acters couldn’t resolve their dif­ferences in the span of a few days when it took years for them to find themselves in the situations they are facing.

John Gillispie is the public rela­tions director for the Huntington Museum of Art.

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