How do you get two of cinema’s seminal leading ladies into a car together? Throw some Oscar bait on the backseat. At least, that’s what it looks like from watching the first trailer for August: Osage County. You can check it out below.
An ensemble drama, the film is based on the play of the same name by Tracy Letts and directed by John Wells. Letts, who also penned the screenplay, bagged the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2008 for the original stage outing. Coming from a background already rooted in accolade, the screen adaptation will undoubtedly capture the Academy’s eye. The subject matter is perfect for nods too.
Just looking at the cast attached is like reading an Oscar nominee shortlist. Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch, Abigail Breslin, Chris Cooper, Juliette Lewis, Sam Shepard and Dermot Mulroney are just some of the starring talent.
The story follows the Weston family. After head of the household and sometime poet, Beverly Weston commits suicide/does a Plath, the surviving members of the family come together for his funeral. What comes next is not unexpected. The sisters who’ve always harboured bad feelings toward each other argue to buggery. Someone uncovers a family secret. Someone’ll probably turn out to be gay.
With two ha-yuge names such as Streep and Roberts, they tend to dominate the trailer’s two and a half minutes. Streep, as matriarch Violet Weston is a scene-stealer. She bags loads of brilliant lines suckerpunched by her seasoned delivery. Roberts, as daughter Barbara, has a bone to pick with everyone. The excitement from this trailer comes purely from its cast. The story? Eh…
The family-uniting-after-tragedy plot is hardly new. 2004’s Eulogy tackled the exact same topic with a lesser known cast (with the exception of Famke Janssen’s hot lesbian life partner). Death At A Funeral and The Big Chill also delved into the fragile environment created out of family mourning.
We’ll have to see if this flick steps out of the box when August: Osage County arrives in theatres November 8th.