Well, here it is. We have reached the final MIAC Taylor Little Theatre film presentation of the academic year playing this Sunday, May 4, at 2 p.m.
And while it is by no means the “feel good movie” of the year, it is certainly one of the most powerfully done. If anything else, it will most likely leave you feeling more thankful for your own family, because these people are messed up.
Directed by John Wells and based on the Tracy Letts’s Pulitzer Prize winning play of the same name, August: Osage County centers around Violet Weston, a drug-addicted granny stuck in a dark place of her own making, reeking of bitterness and a pill-induced eagerness to lash out at her family.
She is played by Lord and Master Meryl Streep in a portrayal that is at times haunting, at other times hilarious and at still other times heartbreaking.
Streep, who was nominated for an Oscar for her performance, is surrounded by an equally talented cast that includes fellow Academy Award winners Julia Roberts and Chris Cooper, as well as familiar faces such as Abigail Breslin and Benedict Cumberbatch.
Margo Martindale plays Violet Weston’s equally complex sister, Mattie Fae, who can’t find a place in her heart for her son, Little Charles (played by Cumberbatch). Martindale also received an Oscar nomination for her seemingly effortless performance.
Things go from bad to worse in this heated family drama, as long-held secrets are exposed and lives are regretted.
“Nothing gets slipped past me,” Streep’s Violet Weston mutters over her cigarettes in a druggy haze.
Sometimes the most fascinating parts of this story are the things that we do not know.
The past left unsaid, but is slowly and hinted at and even more slowly revealed.
Watching the interactions of the widely different family members is not unlike watching a car crash, as some stand up to hatred, and some fall victim to it, and seem doomed to repeat the same mistakes.
The movie is two hours long, but felt like five minutes. It is the perfect combination of entertaining and moving. It will leave viewers cheering and booing and maybe even silent.
Make sure to check out August: Osage County this Sunday in the Taylor Little Theatre for a movie worth every penny of the $1 admission, and then some.