August: Osage County ★★★

Julia Roberts tells Meryl Streep to "eat the fish, bitch" and I don't know what criteria you look for when deciding what to watch, but I don't think I can offer you anything more helpful than that quote.

About half this cast is incredible and nuanced, and the other half doesn't really get much to do, and then Meryl Streep does as much acting as she can fit into two hours.  She puts on an accent and chews up every inch of scenery.

Roberts, Chris Cooper, Margo Martindale, and Ewan McGregor all get to do some great work in this fairly typical play-turned-film.  It has almost every cliched dark family secret brewing under the surface, waiting for someone to ruminate on an ideal like "truth" or whatever in an extended monologue to reveal itself.

The casting is a bit redundant too though, which is not something I've ever thought before.  But this film has both Chris Cooper and Sam Shepard playing thoughtful patriarchs.  And you really should just pick one or the other to be in your movie.  Both ends up being distracting.  Especially because one shows up right as the other disappears and the whole thing just feels strange and more meta than intended.  Additionally, Martindale is playing the human version of the caricature Streep is performing so whenever they have dialogue together, it's distracting again.  Especially because Martindale is famously understated and reserved and Streep likes to go as big as possible as often as possible.

The film overall is fine.  It's nothing special or groundbreaking.  I really would like for this to be the last "scattered family gathers to mourn the loss of a family head, air their grievances, and expose their dirty, /shocking/ secrets" for a while.  There's just too many for how similar they are, none of them do anything remotely different.