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Monday, January 27, 2014

Oscars 2014: Buddy Beaverhausen Visits Osage County

Based on the Broadway hit and Pulitzer Prize winner written by Tracey Letts (who also wrote the screenplay), August: Osage County is nominated for two Oscars: Best Actress (Meryl Streep) and Actress in a Supporting Role (Julia Roberts).

This is the ideal flick for anyone who digs dysfunctional family get togethers on-screen, kind of a sub-genre at this point. So many people all over the world can relate. It's a beautiful thing culturally!

According to Closer Weekly fanzine: “I did cry the first time I saw the movie [August: Osage County], because, you know, the way I looked,” Meryl admitted at a recent panel discussion for the film. “I mean you look in the mirror and think ‘it’s not that bad’ and then 40 feet across, in large, it’s a different story.” Bette Davis cried when she first saw the rushes of herself in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane for the same reason. And, speaking of La Davis, one might well imagine her tackling Meryl's role were she alive and Meryl's age today. In fact, there were moments in AOC when Meryl reminded me of nothing less than Bette Davis' monstrous matriarch in The Anniversary.  There are also echos within her character of Martha from Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

Even though the film version of AOC opens up the action to the outdoors and the great plains, the ultimate dinner sequence betrays the film's theatrical roots, but it's claustrophobically intense.

Ok, people, I am one of those who believes Meryl can do no wrong and that she is brilliant once more in the central role of this ensemble. Julia Roberts is no slouch either as Streep's oldest, bitter and strong-wiiled daughter, more like her Mom than she might admit to herself.

Margo Martindale, Ewan McGregor, Juliette Lewis, Chris Cooper, Dermot Mulroney, Abigail Breslin, Julianne Nicholson and Benedict Cumberbatch all give strong support under John Wells' direction.

The screenplay is full of memorable dialogue and Meryl Streep, I have to say, has most of the best lines. My personal favorite line in film (from Meryl):

"I thought we were having a funeral! Not a cockfight!"

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