August : Osage County  (2013)    74/100

Rating :   74/100                                                                     121 Min        15

Situated where the viewer is in the photo above, at the head of the Weston family table in Osage County Oklahoma, sits the acting powerhouse that is Meryl Streep – here embodying the pill popping, anarchic, virago matriarch of the family, who have all gathered to mourn the passing of her husband, and who all probably harbour secret suspicions that he committed suicide just to get away from his harpy of a wife. It’s from the Pulitzer winning play by Tracy Letts, who also wrote the screenplay, and despite the wealth of other acting talent present it is another film driven home by the sheer force and power of Streep, who torments everyone around her and drags all of their dirty laundry out into the open for debate, with the vast majority of the film taking place over a few days in her isolated and slightly decrepit home.

It’s depressing, but also compelling, with strong support all round and especially good turns from Julia Roberts and Benedict Cumberbatch. The film also sees Streep and Roberts up for best actress and best supporting actress respectively at the Oscars later this year.

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