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August: Osage County [Blu-ray] (2014)

Meryl Streep , Julia Roberts , John Wells  |  R |  Blu-ray
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,017 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper
  • Directors: John Wells
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: ANCHOR BAY
  • DVD Release Date: April 8, 2014
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,017 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00I3HFAZ2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,625 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Academy Award® Winners Meryl Streep* and Julia Roberts** star in the darkly hilarious and deeply touching story of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose lives converge when a family crisis brings them back to the Midwest house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional mother who raised them. Based on Tracy Letts Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name, Director John Wells skillfully translates from stage to screen, leading an all-star cast that includes Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Abigail Breslin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliette Lewis, Margo Martindale, Dermot Mulroney, Julianne Nicholson, Sam Shepard and Misty Upham.
*Best Actress The Iron Lady (2011)
**Best Actress Erin Brockovich (2000)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
98 of 104 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dark profane film with some remarkable performances January 18, 2014
Theatrical review. There may be spoilers.

Set in dusty, sweltering Oklahoma, director John Wells, using an adapted screenplay by Tracy Letts, provides the viewer with the dysfunctional family of the year. Early on we meet the patriarch, Beverly Weston (Sam Shepard) who is interviewing a woman to care after his cancer-stricken wife Violet (Meryl Streep). Bev is an alcoholic and Vi is a drug addict. Her mouth cancer causes severe burning pain so she has buckets of pills which she's happy to take even if she wasn't in pain.

When Bev turns up missing, Vi calls her 3 daughters and her sister to come help find him. One of the side effects of the narcotics is that they take Vi to a new level of nastiness. And she's one nasty women even when sober. Her oldest daughter Barbara (Julia Roberts) comes from Denver with her estranged husband Bill (Ewan McGregor) and their daughter, Jean (Abigail Breslin). Juliette Lewis plays daughter Karen who brings her fiancé Steve (Dermot Mulroney). Julianne Nicholson is the other daughter Ivy who is having an affair with her cousin Little Charles (Benedict Cumberbatch). Vi sister Mattie (Margo Martindale) is nearly a match for Vi in terms of her foul mouth, but at least she's sober most of the time.

The film's centerpiece is the verbal violence zinged between Vi and Barbara. Frankly, it is almost shocking to hear the vitriol coming from Roberts and Streep as these characters. I suspect they tossed out more F-bombs in this movie than they have in their cumulative careers. Some of it is uncomfortably funny I admit, but his film is hardly a comedy, even a black comedy. I was reminded of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" from 1966 where Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton go at it in front of their 2 innocent guests.
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77 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars for the Acting December 16, 2013
Is it Oscar time already? Here comes Meryl Streep's 2013 entry, a film adaptation of Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play of the same name; AND she has amazing company. This cast is to die for, even though the hateful characters they portray are ruthless, sordid and cruel. (This has been opened in a few select cities in order to qualify for this year's Academy Awards.)

We admire:
* Meryl Streep ("Hope Springs") Violet is pure venom, even after we hear her life history and try to sympathize, she's just evil. Her drug of choice makes quite a pharmacy! In my opinion, Streep is given too full a rein: The dialog is adequate, we don't need all the histrionics as well. I saw this on stage and it was effective without the extra Methody tics.
* Sam Shepard ("Safe House") Beverly her husband, has had enough. He prefers scotch.
* Julia Roberts ("Mirror Mirror") Barbara was her daddy's favorite, but the apple didn't fall very far from the tree: her tongue is pretty sharp and she is an unyielding sort of woman.
* Ewan McGregor ("Jack the Giant Slayer") Bill is trying to understand the family dynamics so maybe he can understand his wife Barbara a little better.
* Abigail Breslin ("Ender's Game") Jean is only fourteen, but pretending to be a little more grown up sure can be fun!
* Juliet Lewis ("The Switch") Karen didn't come back to the old homestead after she went off to college and THIS time she has hit it lucky!
* Dermot Mulroney ("Joline") Steve is wealthy, drives a great car and Karen will marry him in Florida next January!
* Margo Martindale ("Justified") Mattie Fae is Violet's only sister. They both have secrets.
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65 of 77 people found the following review helpful
This is a specialty interest movie.

For those who enjoy this type of movie, it is well worth watching. For those who don't, I suggest you watch something else.

What is it about?

The patriarch of a family- an author- dies. His funeral brings the family together to their home- in Osage County Oklahoma.

The story unfolds as the tensions amongst the family members come to the surface. The focal point of the tensions is the matriarch of the family, played by Meryl Streep brilliantly. She certainly puts the "vile" into Violet (the name of her character).

Relationships within the family are dysfunctional. The story focuses on the relationships, and the brewing tensions. Some of the interactions amongst the characters are caustic.

The performances uniformly are masterful and faultless, and the transition of the stage play to the screen largely has been achieved successfully. At times, you do have the impression this originally was written for the stage.

If you are familiar with the stage play, this will reward you as a great performance of it- albeit condensed from the full stage version. If you want to see great performances from fine actors playing complex and dysfunctional characters, and portraying the characters in a believable way- again this is rewarding.

For anyone else, it may be something of a chore to sit through it.

Revised: January 26, 2014; April 14, 2014
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39 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars August: Osage County: Who's Afraid of Violet Weston? January 10, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I don't think I've seen a film competing in the Oscar race this year with just as many powerhouse performances as "August: Osage County." Every actor is cast perfectly in a film where each character is well written, although the movie itself is basically an abridged version of the stage show. On stage, "August" is a night of three acts and three and a half hours. On screen, it's just about two hours long. Scenes were shortened, some were cut, but its essence remains.

Tracy Letts, writer of the stage show, wrote this film adaptation as well. It appears that he didn't mind cutting the film down considerably for the screen. The film is able to avoid becoming a "greatest hits" version of the play. Yet it can be called an abridged version of the stage show, but that's not quite right either. It's its own animal. It can't help but feel stagy but I certainly don't think that detracts from the experience.

"August: Osage County" tells the story of the Weston family. Three sisters - Barbara (Julia Roberts), Ivy (Julianne Nicholson) and Karen (Juliette Lewis) come back home after their alcoholic, yet soulful and brooding father Beverly (Sam Shepherd) goes missing. Their mother, Violet (Meryl Streep) has basically ruined each one of these girls' lives in one way or another. She has cancer of the mouth, but is constantly smoking like a chimney. Each character has their own story going on. Letts keeps just enough of each character in this condensed adaptation to make it feel like everybody is well-examined and written. I still wish it was the same three and a half hours that the play was, but I understand why that wasn't an option.

When a film contains numerous stellar performances like this, a complaint about the running time hardly means anything.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 STARS for STREEP & ROBERTS!!
I love this kind of movies that have a dysfunctional family. I was very happy with Streep & Roberts performances. Julia was AMAZING and Meryl was just PHENOMENAL as always.
Published 7 minutes ago by Mrs. B
3.0 out of 5 stars A family-centered drama where secrets are revealed and feelings are...
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY is an interesting film for me. It was written by Tracy Letts, who also wrote two of my favorite William Friedkin films, BUG and KILLER JOE. Read more
Published 10 hours ago by Robert Hayes
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Have not finished the movie but I am sure it is great
Published 13 hours ago by Jeanne
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good movie with lots of great actors and good acting.
Published 1 day ago by Emily Dennes
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 day ago by mixed blessings
1.0 out of 5 stars Ugh- hated it! Meryl was amazing though
Depressing! The dysfunction NEVER ENDED! Ugh- hated it! Meryl was amazing though, just hated the story-line!
Published 1 day ago by mary pat payette
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
not as good as I expected
Published 1 day ago by Debra
3.0 out of 5 stars Not that great, especially if one has read or seen the play.
Wildly overacted by the stars - Meryl and Julia should be embarrassed. Benedict Cumberbatch's acting was refreshing in its subtlety. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Pilgrim
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very good and I enjoyed it very much
Published 1 day ago by Betty Ross
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
not one of the best movies of the two gals, but worth watching.
Published 2 days ago by SANDRA FISCHER
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