It’s hard to have the Thrilla in Manila with only one heavyweight. And while the ensemble—including Chris Cooper, Ewan McGregor and Julia Roberts—are all very good, there’s only one Meryl Streep. And when she’s throwing knockout punches in August: Osage County, she might as well be alone up there. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play and adapted for the screen by its author, Tracy Letts, Osage County brings together the ultimate dysfunctional family, holed up in rural Oklahoma and opening old wounds. Streep is the pill-popping matriarch and Roberts leads a trio of daughters. The volcanic dinner scene was the centerpiece of the play, and that still holds true. But this feels like a filmed play more than a movie—most of the scenes are too long and there’s not a great symmetry or fluidity along the way. But good God, that Meryl Streep.
Director: John Wells
Producer: Steve Traxler, Jean Doumanian, George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Ron Burkle, Claire Rudnick Polstein, Celia Costas, Bob Weinstein and Harvey Weinstein
Cast: Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Abigail Breslin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliette Lewis, Margo Martindale, Dermot Mulroney, Julianne Nicholson, Sam Shepard and Misty Upham