August: Osage County – 8

If Nebraska was bleak, the Oklahoma of Osage County was bleaker, and hotter and the family more dysfunctional and meaner, in a deep, searing way. The film read as a play transported to the screen, not least because of the haunting echoes of the great American playwrights – O’Neill, Williams, Albee. Every line and every look had meaning, and when it came to looks Meryl Streep gave a lot of them. The pleasant surprise was that Julia Roberts stood up to Streep’s performance, with her own inherited dominating mean streak leaving her, in the end, just as alone. The rare accomplishment of Tracy Lett’s screenplay is that it not only introduced you to fully formed characters, but at movie’s end you were left to ponder, what would happen to each of them. [Smoking – 3]

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