August: Osage County ***

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“August: Osage County” is a fairly heavy movie when it comes to the drama that takes place. There are a lot of grueling performances and long dialogue sequences to get through. I was not too surprised to find that this was based on a play. As a movie I enjoyed it but I just found that it was bursting at the seams. Perhaps the screenplay needed to be drawn out a little more to give everyone a little more weight and depth.

When it comes to family bitterness, “August: Osage County” gets it almost too perfectly. The story follows a rather large extended family as they reunite to mourn the loss of the grandfather. The cast includes Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper, Ewan McGregor, Juliett Lewis, Sam Shepard, Dermot Mulroney, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Abigail Breslin. Each actor pretty much disappeared in to their character. I especially liked Julia Roberts, who manages to completely shed her super star status and inhabit a person who is harboring much anger towards her mother.

The plot I can’t really describe without giving away some of the surprises. Just know that there are some shocking and disturbing family secrets here that are about to boil to the surface. The cast all do a fantastic job of portraying a family that would rather live on the brink of destruction rather than watch the family crumble.

Part of me wishes that there was another hour or so to this movie. It almost felt like there was too much covered in the two hours of screen time. I wanted to know more about how Benedict Cumberbatch’s character turns out as well as how Chris Cooper and his wife fared. But that is just me wishing for more of a good thing. I honestly would not be opposed to a sequel.

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