August: Osage County (2013)

August: Osage County Poster

A look at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Midwest house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them.

"August: Osage County" is a dark, amusing, and grasping family drama movie launched in 2013 by The Weinstein Company. This movie is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name by Tracy Letts. The narrative centers around the inefficient Weston family coming together after a tragedy, with an ensemble cast starring Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper, and numerous others. John Wells directed the movie while George Clooney and Grant Heslov produced it together with others.

Beverly Weston (Sam Shepard), an alcoholic poet experiencing anxiety, employs a Native American lady, Johnna (Misty Upham), as a live-in cook and caretaker for his spouse, Violet (Meryl Streep), who struggles with oral cancer and an addiction to narcotics. Soon after, Beverly disappears, triggering the family members to return house in Oklahoma. This consists of the couple's 3 children: Barbara (Julia Roberts), Karen (Juliette Lewis), and Ivy (Julianne Nicholson), together with their families and Violet's sis Mattie Fae (Margo Martindale).

Family Dynamics and Secrets
Upon reuniting, the inefficient family dynamics emerge. Violet berates her family members throughout meals, exposing different secrets and concealed resentments. One considerable secret uncovered is Ivy's secret romantic relationship with her "cousin", Little Charles (Benedict Cumberbatch), who is later on exposed to be her half-brother, the outcome of an affair in between Beverly and Mattie Fae.

Climax and Resolution
Barbara, the eldest child, attempts to take control of the weakening circumstance. Stress climax throughout a heated argument, causing Barbara's failed attempt to throw her mom into rehab and force Ivy and Little Charles to end their relationship, just to have Ivy leave in determination to live her own life regardless of the opinions of others. After the funeral service of Beverly, who is discovered drowned in a lake, Violet exposes the extreme reality that her partner had actually deliberately devoted suicide, and that he had spoken to her about his plans.

In the end, Barbara leaves her mom in the care of Johnna, with a sense of relief yet sadness. Violet breaks down alone, while the silent empathy from Johnna depicts how the Westons' circle of life continues with a fresh sense of melancholy.

Theme and Reception
August: Osage County explores themes like addiction, suicide, household characteristics, cheating, and depression under the searing summertime heat of the Oklahoman plains, mirroring the boiling tension amongst the member of the family. The movie's acting efficiencies were extremely admired, particularly Streep and Roberts, who both received Academy Award nominations for their functions. The movie provides both a tragic and darkly comedic insight into a family's impending implosion. Through its complex characters and complex plot, it masterfully provides a poignant picture of a family striving to keep grace and love in the midst of mayhem and dysfunction.

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