August: Osage County (2013)



Critic Consensus: The sheer amount of acting going on in August: Osage County threatens to overwhelm, but when the actors involved are as talented as Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, it's difficult to complain.

Movie Info

AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY tells the dark, hilarious and deeply touching story of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose lives have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Midwest house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them. Letts' play made its Broadway debut in December 2007 after premiering at Chicago's legendary Steppenwolf Theatre earlier that year. It continued with a successful international run. (c) Weinstein

Rating: R (for language including sexual references, and for drug material)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Tracy Letts
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 8, 2014
Box Office: $37.7M
The Weinstein Company - Official Site


as Violet Weston

as Barbara Weston

as Karen Weston

as Bill Fordham

as Jean Fordham

as Mattie Fae Aiken

as Charles Aiken

as Little Charles Aiken

as Steve Heidebrecht

as Beverly Weston
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for August: Osage County

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Critic Reviews for August: Osage County

All Critics (178) | Top Critics (43)

Every ill-considered editing choice here bears the sticky fingerprints of statuette-grubbing producer Harvey Weinstein, attempting to tame this rough material for mass consumption by Oscar voters.

Full Review… | May 12, 2015
The Improper Bostonian

Sure to be divisive, "August: Osage County" is tenacious and beautifully constructed. Soulful and unafraid to show the gritty and ugly of the American family,

Full Review… | November 9, 2014

Nothing makes you feel better about your dysfunctional family at the holidays than watching a messed-up clan unravel on screen, only armed with better zingers and prettier faces. That describes this adaptation of Tracy Letts's star-studded drama.

Full Review… | September 12, 2014
Yahoo! Movies

New Hollywood motto: Never act with kids, dogs or Streep--when she's in Mommie Dearest mode, that is.

Full Review… | June 28, 2014
Windy City Times

It isn't so much a movie as it is a competitive act-off.

Full Review… | April 21, 2014
Columbus Alive

It is easy to grow weary of these stories. But here is a movie that finds powerful relevance through its grotesque details.

Full Review… | April 15, 2014

Audience Reviews for August: Osage County


It's all fine until the deep dark secrets (so to speak) begin to come out. If only they were convincing enough. The tragedies keep on mounting, but it's hardly effective as I couldn't care enough for any of the characters. May have been better if they'd cared to execute the plot in a way that the twists and shocks felt genuine. Yet, for what it is, a single viewing shouldn't be fatal. In fact, I found it to be a relatively better means of time pass (apparently, for that once).
2.25 out of 5.

familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

A quiet tragedy with a great cast. Why wasn't this one nominated for an Oscar? You must see this to see how good Meryl Streep is in it.

Lanning : )

Super Reviewer

This is probably one of the first times that I truly noticed what happens to a film when you have a director who truly can't keep up with his cast. "August: Osage County" has a cast that is to die for - and they don't disappoint. But when the film itself is directed in a generic, uninteresting, unfocused fashion, it sometimes leaves the actors with too much responsibility to shoulder to make the material work.

"August: Osage County" is better when it sticks to its theater roots and stages scenes statically. An electric scene at the dinner table or intimate exchanges between sisters or mothers and daughters work better than the film's earlier expository scenes where the film attempts to take advantage of its cinematic scope and stage scenes in exteriors or in mobile locations. This gives the first half of the film a very messy feel and makes certain characters feel unrealized.

This is especially true with Meryl Streep's characterization of matriarch Violet Weston. Her first scene is an actor's showcase - she's druggy, sickly and irrational. She chews the scenery with abandon leaving the restrained Sam Shepard and understated Misty Upham looking like lost spectators.

Streep seems to be experimenting at the beginning of the film with what type of character she wants Violet to be. Is she crazy or is it really the drugs? Is she truly mean-spirited or just a victim of a cruel world? It's during that climactic dinner scene where Streep seems to get a firm hold on the character and for the rest of the film is magnificent and fully realized.

But if there's a standout among this talented group, it is surprisingly Julia Roberts who is amazing as eldest daughter Barbara Weston. Roberts lands her zingers better than most of the other cast members and also has her best moments with her facial reactions to her family's actions.

The rest of the cast is good as well, but the material doesn't give them much time to fully bring their characters full circle. Margo Martindale and Chris Cooper come closest but they are given more room to breathe, to introduce their characters and to make an impact. The rest of the cast arrives on scene, get dropped in the plot and are expected to make something stick. This is especially apparent with Benedict Cumberbatch who arrives as a crazy mess, yet you don't know if he is mentally unstable or, as the film seems to imply later, a victim of a verbally abusive mother.

Overall, "August: Osage County" is a film is only half effective. A large, talented cast thrown together in a house, given a Pulitzer-Prize winning theater script and told to ACT. They do that. But the result is a story that doesn't feel fully realized until halfway through.

And that is the true definition of a wasted opportunity.

The Gandiman
Tony Gandía

Super Reviewer

August: Osage County Quotes

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– Submitted by Alyssa B (16 months ago)

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