I'm not sure what the take away of this movie should be. This family can be brutally nasty to each other. That they tolerate each other, especially the mother, for as long as they do, or that they are sometimes able to ignore terrible things she says because they know it's the pills talking (sometimes), is admirable. Every family has pain and struggles, maybe even a few skeletons in the closet, but not like this.
The acting is incredible from a stellar cast. Streep is on top form here as she switches from cruelty to laughing and back again. This is a great showcase for a more dramatic Julia Roberts. So many great names add to the ensemble: Chris Cooper, Margo Martindale, Sam Shepherd, Ewan McGregor, etc. Julianne Nichols as the quiet daughter that stayed really impressed me. Benedict Cumberbatch was fine, I guess, but I'm beginning to feel more and more that he's overrated.