August: Osage County

August: Osage County

John Wells (2013)

bbfc_rating|to_be_announced Certificate
Thu 20 Aug 2:20am - 4:20am Channel 4


Our Score
Pill-popping queen bitch Meryl Streep abstractedly deals with her poet husband's suicide in Tracy Letts's adaptation of his own Pulitzer Prize-winning stage smash. Meanwhile, Streep's long-suffering family exposes festering wounds, rehash bitter feuds and reveal long-buried secrets in attempts to restore stability at the Oklahoma wake. But this latest episode in the playwright's torn dysfunctional family manual (after Killer Joe and Bug) finds its dark satire on American society blunted into a southern-fried screaming match. It's histrionic rather than involving, evoking more trailer trash Dallas than Tennessee Williams. But the members of the stellar cast are each given their moment to shine in the sweltering spotlight, with Chris Cooper's moving plea over his wife's shabby treatment of their son, Benedict Cumberbatch, trouncing the expected diva fireworks from Oscar nominees Streep and Julia Roberts. Director John Wells makes it eminently watchable, but with every crippling emotional issue from abuse and incest to infidelity covered by rote, it all comes across as risk-averse, over-baked and hollow.


Three estranged sisters return to their family home following their father's suicide, and resume their complex relationship with their overbearing, malicious mother. Over the day of the funeral, tensions among the family reach boiling point as secrets and recriminations are brought to light. Drama, starring Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Juliette Lewis and Julianne Nicholson.

Cast & Crew

Violet Weston Meryl Streep
Barbara Weston Julia Roberts
Bill Fordham Ewan McGregor
Charles Aiken Chris Cooper
Jean Fordham Abigail Breslin
"Little" Charles Aiken Benedict Cumberbatch
Karen Weston Juliette Lewis
Mattie Fae Aiken Margo Martindale
Steve Dermot Mulroney
Ivy Weston Julianne Nicholson
Beverly Weston Sam Shepard
Director John Wells
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: EntertainmentGuidance: Swearing, drug abuse.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 24 Jan 2014