Monday, January 27, 2014
'It's the pills talking.'
My favorite films are character dramas. I, Like the rest of the world, also enjoy Meryl Streep as one of my favorite thespians to watch light up the screen. Funny then how much I disliked August: Osage County. Streep was great as pill poppin, truth telling Violet Weston, maybe too good. Like the rest of her family, I just wanted to get away from her whenever she was in the room. Watching a character you dislike can often be plenty of fun and can see how Violet would have been a powerhouse character to watch on stage. The play however did not translate to a watchable or worthwhile motion picture experience for me.
I did not see the play on stage, but Julia Roberts character also did little for me. Roberts and Streep were both great, but their relationship seemed forced, a way to give the two biggest stars in the film a hook together. The most interesting sister was by far Ivy, with Julianne Nicholson the movie's main source of appeal. It is too bad the producers sacrificed giving proper billing in favor of more well known actors. Nicholson was great, and along with Chris Cooper were the main reasons my Friday night out wasn't a total waste.
I must give the supporting cast their due. Without nearly as much screen time, they all made their characters memorable. This is the first time I have liked Juliette Lewis in a role since Cape Fear and Margo Martindale again reminded me of what a great actress she is, playing a great character, not a caricature, as she does on The Millers. In addition to Cooper, Ewan McGregor, Dermott Mulroney and Benedict Cuberbatch (who I did not catch was in the film) were also interesting to watch and provided a FH type reason to post about the film.
Chris Cooper, perfecting the ugly/sexy in Adaptation.
Mulroney in Intimate Affairs.
Cumberbatch in Last Enemy.
McGregor classic scene in Velvet Goldmine