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Sanity Break


August: Osage County

Article: Fun & Relaxation Return to List of Articles
August: Osage County09, Jan 2014

If you have some family drama going on in your house, August: Osage County will either:
a) make you feel better because youíre not only the nuthouse on the block.
b) it will hit too close to home and feel like just another ugly dinner around the table. Or...
c) help you see that your family dynamics pale in comparison.

Meryl Street stars as the toxic, pill-popping Violet. A mother hard to love or even be around. Her three daughters have each found their own way to cope with their crazy mother. Big sister Barbara (Julia Roberts) and baby sister Karen (Juliette Lewis) have escaped the dreadful homestead leaving Ivy (Julianne Nicholson,) the middle daughter to tend to their motherís mishaps. The burden has caused Ivy to put her own life on hold. But the other sisters havenít exactly turned a corner with their own lives. Barbara is dealing with an unfaithful husband (Ewan McGregor) and a teen (Abigail Breslin) with major issues and attitude. Karen seems to be living between fantasy and naivety.

Just like most families, this one is a lot more complicated than what we see on the surface. Their father was a strangely, quiet man. Their aunt, Mattie Fae (Margo Martindale) has grown comfortable with Violetís volatility, even adds to it on occasion. Mattie Faeís husband Charlie (Chris Cooper) is about the only element of sanity to be found.

With a twisting plot about these three strange sisters and their family crisis, Meryl Streepís flawless believability, and Julia Robertsí gravity in this grown-up role, August: Osage County is one of my favorite films of the season. Really everyoneís acting is top-notch.

Iíve never seen the Broadway play this film is based from and Iím glad. Some of those who did were disappointed it wasnít more like the stage version - a true dark comedy. Oh, believe me, this is funny... at times. But mostly itís just drama that makes my family and yours look like Leave it to Beaver!

Arruga! = 0
Fidget Factor = 0
(2 hours)
Age Range = 15 and up (the language and drug use wonít throw any high schooler for a loop)
Overall Grade = A-

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