The four stars comes more from respect than merit. The play is one of the greatest theatrical works of the nascent 21st century. Logically, the entire 3 hour script wouldn’t have been presented as is - film is a different medium, and therefore requires a different approach. I don’t have issue with the presentation of the piece; what the presentation lacks is intimacy.
What made the play so enthralling and magnetic was its quiet - the spaces between the words, between the moments. This film does settle. It doesn’t get quiet. It ramps up, reaches top speed, and stays there.
Letts’ writing is masterful. Streep is captivating as always. Roberts, Lewis, McDermott are all fine and really showing their skill. Still though - I wanted more, or, as it were, less. The film here is good; don’t get me wrong. But it could have been beyond great.