August: Osage County

( 1 )

Overview

Director John Wells' adaptation of Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize winning play August: Osage County tells the tale of the dysfunctional Westin clan, who all come together after the death of patriarch Beverly Weston Sam Shepard. His wife Violet Meryl Streep, who is fighting mouth cancer and a growing dependency on pain pills, sees her entire clan return home for the services, including her sister Mattie Fae Aiken Margo Martindale and her husband Charles Chris Cooper and their son "Little" Charles Benedict ...
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Overview

Director John Wells' adaptation of Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize winning play August: Osage County tells the tale of the dysfunctional Westin clan, who all come together after the death of patriarch Beverly Weston Sam Shepard. His wife Violet Meryl Streep, who is fighting mouth cancer and a growing dependency on pain pills, sees her entire clan return home for the services, including her sister Mattie Fae Aiken Margo Martindale and her husband Charles Chris Cooper and their son "Little" Charles Benedict Cumberbatch. Also arriving are Violet's three daughters: Barbara Julia Roberts and her husband Bill Ewan McGregor, Ivy Julianne Nicholson, and wild child Karen Juliette Lewis, who brings her fiancé Steve Dermot Mulroney. As the clan bickers and jokes, old truths come to the surface, jealousies flourish, and eventually each of the characters confronts some past hurt or future fear. August: Osage County screened at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.
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Special Features

Fearture and deleted scenes Commentary with Director John Wells and Cinematographer Adriano Goldman; The making of August: Osage County; Featurette on writing with Tracy Letts
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
The idea of a cinematic adaptation of a three-hour Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning play about a dysfunctional Midwestern family is likely to put some people's teeth on edge. While the thought of watching characters insult each other, scream, and reveal long-buried secrets may be anathema to some, for others -- especially those with an ear for Tracy Letts' particular brand of rhythmic dialogue and twisted familial relations -- John Wells' adaptation of August: Osage County is the perfect cocktail, albeit one with a lot of bitters. In easily the most impressive ensemble cast of 2013, Meryl Streep is the first among equals as Violet, the cancer-suffering, pain-med-addicted matriarch of the Weston clan, who loses her husband Beverly (Sam Shepard) in the movie's opening act. This prompts the return home of Violet's eldest daughter Barbara (Julia Roberts), along with her cheating husband Bill (Ewan McGregor) and their rebellious teenage daughter Jean (Abigail Breslin). Also arriving home for the memorial is Violet and Bev's youngest daughter, the impulsive Karen (Juliette Lewis), along with her skeevy, previously married fiancé Steve (Dermot Mulroney). They reunite with Ivy (Julianne Nicholson), the unmarried middle daughter who stayed close to home and has been caring for her parents. Rounding out the extensive family tree is Violet's loudmouthed -- and that's saying something in this clan -- sister Mattie Fae (Margo Martindale), Mattie's often stoned but decent husband Charles (Chris Cooper), and their bumbling adult son Little Charles (Benedict Cumberbatch), who has been carrying on a secret romance with Ivy. Lurking quietly in the background, making this ungrateful group food and putting up with Violet's racist asides, is Johanna (Misty Upham), a Native American housekeeper Bev hired just before he died. Detailing exactly how these people have caused each other such misery over the years spoils the fun of how deftly Letts, who also wrote the screenplay, has timed the revelations of the characters' backstories with the precision of a Swiss watchmaker. Just as we think we have a handle on why these people are acting the way they are, Letts unleashes another bit of the past, and as these facts surface you slowly begin to appreciate how fully he's thought through the characters. We stop looking for cause and effect, and just accept that these people are the way they are, warts and all. While that sounds somewhat defeatist or at least cynical, the dialogue pops with such biting humor, and the actors are all so remarkably skilled, that even with a cast this overstuffed nobody comes off as a caricature. No matter who is onscreen or what particular hell they are putting another character through, you can always savor the words and the performances. It's been said before, but it's worth repeating: Meryl Streep is the finest living American actress, and here she gets a part worthy of her protean skills. Violet is one of the most nightmarish screen matriarchs since Norman Bates' mom, but Streep makes her as realistically pitiful as she is monstrous. Margo Martindale and Chris Cooper are both flawless in each of their scenes, but they're especially fine with each other -- from their very first exchange, there's no question that their characters have been intimate for decades. Cooper gets the most heartfelt speech, one that articulates exactly how frustrated the audience feels with this supremely dysfunctional crew, and it's a showstopper in the best sense of the word. Wells' background in TV serves him well here. He doesn't try anything terribly flashy camera-wise and he makes no obvious efforts to "open up" the play other than to set a few scenes outside, yet he's expertly figured out how to give everybody in this cast a fair amount of screen time and still maintain the film's relatively lean and focused momentum thanks to the crisp and efficient editing. Like Days of Wine and Roses, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Closer, and Doubt, August: Osage County proves that our definition of "cinematic" is often too restrictive. While film is obviously a visual storytelling medium, there's no denying that it's also one in which sound can have as much power as the pictures; for viewers whose favorite sounds include actors at the top of their game engaging each other with words that are playful, subtly poetic, and often spectacularly cruel, Letts and the cast give you an overabundance of moments to savor -- as well as the ability to be thankful you aren't a Weston. As Charles says to Mattie Fae at one point, you don't understand how these women can be so mean to the people they love, but as the closing credits roll over a dusty shot of the Oklahoma horizon, you'll appreciate how fully the movie has explored the ways in which a difficult life often makes people confuse and conflate cruelty and strength.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/8/2014
  • UPC: 013132611624
  • Original Release: 2013
  • Rating:

  • Source: Twc
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Color
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Language: English, Español, Français
  • Time: 2:01:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 3,013

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Meryl Streep Violet Weston
Julia Roberts Barbara Weston
Juliette Lewis Karen Weston
Ewan McGregor Bill Fordham
Abigail Breslin Jean Fordham
Margo Martindale Mattie Fae Aiken
Chris Cooper Charles Aiken
Benedict Cumberbatch Little Charles Aiken
Dermot Mulroney Steve Heidebrecht
Sam Shepard Beverly Weston
Misty Upham Johnna
Julianne Nicholson , Ivy Weston
Technical Credits
John Wells Director
Kerry Bardem Casting
Ron Burkle Executive Producer
Carter Burwell Score Composer
George Clooney Producer
Celia Costas Executive Producer
Jean Doumanian Producer
Cindy Evans Costumes/Costume Designer
Jerry Frankel Executive Producer
Adriano Goldman Cinematographer
David Gropman Production Designer
Grant Heslov Producer
Tracy Letts Screenwriter
Stephen Mirrione Editor
Claire Rudnick Polstein Executive Producer
Jeffrey Richards Executive Producer
Dana Sano Musical Direction/Supervision
Gustavo Santaolalla Score Composer
Paul Schnee Casting, Costumes/Costume Designer
Steve Traxler Producer
Bob Weinstein Executive Producer
Harvey Weinstein Executive Producer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- August: Osage County
1. Scene 1 [7:09]
2. Scene 2 [8:30]
3. Scene 3 [9:34]
4. Scene 4 [7:49]
5. Scene 5 [8:46]
6. Scene 6 [6:41]
7. Scene 7 [10:41]
8. Scene 8 [9:11]
9. Scene 9 [6:32]
10. Scene 10 [3:57]
11. Scene 11 [4:47]
12. Scene 12 [9:22]
13. Scene 13 [5:31]
14. Scene 14 [6:05]
15. Scene 15 [5:05]
16. Scene 16 [4:18]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- August: Osage County
   Play
   Set Up
      Audio Options
         English Dolby Digital 5.1
         Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
         French Dolby Digital 5.1
      Captions & Subtitles
         English For The Hearing Impaired
         Spanish
         Captions & Subtitles: None
   Scene
   Bonus
      Feature Commentary With Director John Wells & Cinematographer Adriano Goldman: On/Off
         Feature Commentary With Director John Wells & Cinematographer Adriano Goldman: On
            Proceed
         Feature Commentary With Director John Wells & Cinematographer Adriano Goldman: Off
            Proceed
      The Making Of August: Osage County
      Deleted Scenes
         Deleted Scenes Commentary with Director John Wells and Cinematographer Adriano Goldman: On/Off
            Deleted Scenes Commentary with Director John Wells and Cinematographer Adriano Goldman: On
            Deleted Scenes Commentary with Director John Wells and Cinematographer Adriano Goldman: Off
         Play All
            Bill and Barbara Fight
            Violet Nags Ivy
            "I'm Really Happy"
            Little Charles On The Bus
            Sisters Reunited (Alternate)
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2014

    Based off the stage play by Tracy Letts, it's about a dysfunctio

    Based off the stage play by Tracy Letts, it's about a dysfunctional family with heavy baggage. Meryl Streep gives one heck of a performance as Violet, the mouth cancer mama that has a hard time communicating with her children. Her oldest daughter Barbara is the one who is trying to keep a watchful eye on Mama Meryl, but it's her cheating husband and rebellious daughter she should keep a focus on! It is a deep dark comedy overall, but it reeks more of the drama set in Osage County during the month of August....

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews