Monday, November 25, 2013

A Few Thoughts on August : Osage County

Nicholson, Streep and Martindale 

Here are a few thoughts I had about August:Osage County which I saw last night at a preview screening at MoMA :

- it is a very entertaining movie but not exactly a good one. Continues Meryl Streep's strategy of never being in a great movie but giving a great performance.

- Meryl is without a doubt the MVP. It is a very showy role - a drug addict with cancer and life of regret. And she goes BIG. I enjoyed her immensely and I think her fans will too. But I can see why there are dissenters. And yes she will definitely get that 18th nomination.

- I'm not a fan of Julia Roberts but she is excellent here.

- Ewan McGregor in rubbish. He perfects an American accent but that's it. He doesn't register at all. The friend I saw it with suggested that the character is supposed to be recessive and not register. Maybe... I wasn't feeling him.

- Benedict Cumberbatch is miscast. He's not bad but utterly unbelievable as this sad sack.

- Chris Cooper gets a fantastic speech towards the end that had some audience members cheering. Don't know if that's enough to get him recognized.

- The movie really sags in the second half after the big dinner set piece. Plus it has a tagged on ending. Realistically the story ends with Meryl alone and despondent then we get Julia just driving around for seemed to me like an eternity. Why is that? We get it she will be alright. It was apparent by the few scenes before that that she is not turning into her mother. We didn't need this stupid tag-on.

- Margo Martindale got the biggest applause - even a few whoops - as the credits rolled. It really surprised me. Not that she's not good; on the contrary she's great. But she only has a couple of scenes. I think her role suffered the most from cutting the 3 hour play into 2 hours for the movie.

- Wish I could see more of Julianne Nicholson and Juliette Lewis as the the two sisters. They are excellent in limited roles.

- So the acting's great but the movie is nothing special. Still I had a great time.

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