AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY Film Reviews

WiCkEDrOcKS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/04
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY Film Reviews
Posted: 9/10/13 at 11:40am
^ I loved RABBIT HOLE. I think its arguably Kidman's best performance on screen. And Eckhart's as well, for that matter. I quite enjoyed DOUBT and PROOF as well. While they did have their flaws and weren't as good as their stage counterparts, I thought they were fine adaptations.
Current Avatar: Tony-winner Idina Menzel, delivering a sucker-punch of an 11:00 number, "Always Starting Over," in IF/THEN.
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY Film Reviews
Posted: 9/10/13 at 12:01pm
I thought Rabbit Hole was good ... but wasn't the play considered to be much better? You tell me. I saw the film, but didn't see the play. I'm basing it off of reviews and opinions and laurels, hither and yon.

I diid like Rabbit Hole, the movie.

I also liked Doubt, but it wasn't remotely as good as the Broadway show (which I did see).

I didn't mean to imply that simply because they didn't live up to the play, they automatically sucked. I know it's common around here to speak in extremes. I only meant to say that it wasn't as good ... not that it wasn't good.

Capish?
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY Film Reviews
Posted: 9/10/13 at 12:13pm
My bad. I thought you were listing movies that weren't good. And I would put DOUBT in that category, mainly because I detest Hoffman and he just ruins everything he touches.

But RABBIT HOLE (the play) was amazing and I think it translated to film perfectly and really did the source material justice.
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY Film Reviews
Posted: 9/10/13 at 12:44pm
Well, I'm glad you think so. I did think the movie was very good (and extremely depressing). I just thought with the Pulitzer and the laurels and the Tony, as well as friends comments, etc. (yeah, I know secondhand stuff), that the play had been better received overall.

Looking it up now, I see that it ran a mere 77 performances after previews. So maybe I'm wrong in my assessment of the play's reception. Or maybe it was also relentlessly depressing and just too much for Broadway theatre goers to keep it running for any length of time.

As for Doubt, I was blown away by Cherry Jones and the full original cast. I agree that Hoffman was miscast, but I also (to a degree) thought Streep was. It was good ... better than most recent adaptations, but it didn't compare to the play at all.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
east side story
Leading Actor
joined:4/21/11
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY Film Reviews
Posted: 9/10/13 at 12:48pm
Streep was downright terrible in Doubt. I love her as much as the next person, but that performance was such a cartoon.
IdinaBellFoster
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/06
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY Film Reviews
Posted: 9/10/13 at 12:57pm
I agree that Kidman & Eckhart give career best performances in RABBIT HOLE.

I'm honestly more excited to see Roberts in this film than Streep. I'm also excited to see what Roberts does with THE NORMAL HEART.
"Oh look at the time, three more intelligent plays just closed and THE ADDAMS FAMILY made another million dollars" -Jackie Hoffman, Broadway.com Audience Awards
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY Film Reviews
Posted: 9/10/13 at 01:07pm
I know this isn't a discussion about RABBIT HOLE, but you can't mention the fantastic performances in it and not talk about Diane Wiest. She was spectacular.
Liza's Headband
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/13
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY Film Reviews
Posted: 9/10/13 at 01:14pm
Yes, well.
'Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.' -- RW Emerson
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY Film Reviews
Posted: 9/10/13 at 01:15pm
I think the early reviews for her alone will get people in to see the movie. She has a lot of fans out there.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY Film Reviews
Posted: 9/10/13 at 01:19pm
Because she's amazing and her existance is proof of heaven, rainbows, fluffy clouds and rainbows.
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY Film Reviews
Posted: 9/10/13 at 01:30pm
And also rainbows.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY Film Reviews
Posted: 9/10/13 at 01:37pm
And MORE rainbows.
RentBoy86
Broadway Legend
joined:2/15/05
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY Film Reviews
Posted: 9/10/13 at 03:42pm
I would have loved other actors in these roles. Roberts just isn't gritty enough for me, and Streep doesn't do the dry-wit thing very well. I wish they had gotten the theater actors, or just others. Cate Blanchett would have been an interesting choice.
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY Film Reviews
Posted: 9/10/13 at 03:45pm
Cate Blanchett is always an interesting choice.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY Film Reviews
Posted: 9/10/13 at 03:46pm
But Julia Roberts is always the perfect choice.
RentBoy86
Broadway Legend
joined:2/15/05
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY Film Reviews
Posted: 9/10/13 at 05:30pm
Julia Roberts does look more Oklahoma... but I wish they had kept Estelle Parsons for the movie.
logan2
Leading Actor
joined:6/15/04
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY Film Reviews
Posted: 9/10/13 at 07:47pm
Estelle Parsons in the film role would have been heaven. I know Elizabeth Ashley played Mattie Fae at one point, but I think she would have been a revelation in the Violet role.

I can't wait for the movie, mixed reviews and all. It's very much my cup of tea. Someone on a film blog mentioned that with Streep in the Violet role it as if Karen Silkwood had survived and gone on to have children. I thought that was cool - love Silkwood.
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY Film Reviews
Posted: 9/10/13 at 07:54pm
I think I wrote that on here.
logan2
Leading Actor
joined:6/15/04
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY Film Reviews
Posted: 9/10/13 at 08:03pm
Did you? Great minds must think alike! I also read it in the comments of The Film Experience: yes/no/maybe so film blog. Silkwood is one of my favorite Streep performances besides Plenty and Heartburn.
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY Film Reviews
Posted: 9/10/13 at 08:12pm
Yep. She's using her SILKWOOD accent which I'm still not sure was a good idea for her since everyone's going to be thinking of her in that now.
logan2
Leading Actor
joined:6/15/04
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY Film Reviews
Posted: 9/10/13 at 08:44pm
Well - that's Oklahoma! We shall soon see.

You're a big Julia Roberts fan, judging by your other posts, what are your favorite performances of hers? I must admit I am lacking in Roberts film knowledge. I've only seen Pretty Woman, years ago, Steel Magnolias, Pelican Brief, her Oscar winning one and I think tbe Mel Gibson conspiracy movie. What can you turn me on to?

Updated On: 9/10/13 at 08:44 PM
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY Film Reviews
Posted: 9/10/13 at 09:15pm
I think one of her best films (acting wise) is NOTTING HILL. She's really sublime in that. Also check out CLOSER, SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY, FLATLINERS, STEPMOM and definitely MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING.
logan2
Leading Actor
joined:6/15/04
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY Film Reviews
Posted: 9/10/13 at 09:27pm
I forgot about Best Friend's Wedding. I did enjoy that. Thanks.
JBradshaw
Stand-by
joined:10/10/04
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY Film Reviews
Posted: 9/10/13 at 09:40pm
Love Sleeping with the Emeny plus it also has original Joe Gillis from Sunset Blvd Kevin Anderson.
Kevinoes
Leading Actor
joined:1/30/06
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY Film Reviews
Posted: 9/10/13 at 09:48pm
I saw the film at a screening today. Really enjoyed it. I am very familiar with the play and if you know the play, you will be in very familiar territory. It has much of the tone it had on stage and never feels dumbed down or like a TV show or like a Julia Roberts movie.

Too many thoughts but I'll just spew a few...

**SPOILERS**

- Violet wears a wig. Interesting, given the comments from people after set photos and the trailer surfaced where people said she looked like she was wearing a wig. Her entrance into in Bev's office is perhaps unsettling, her staggering in with that thinning short-cropped white hair. She only appears once more without the wig (save a quick bit at the end) when she tells the girls the story of Raymond Qualls. It is Meryl's most vulnerable and heartbreaking moment in the film -- I imagine one of the clips they could play before her Oscar nomination. She is wonderful in the film. Funny, hard, vulnerable, and terrifying.
- Julia Roberts is a fine Barbara. Never once does she hide behind her "Julia Roberts movie" persona. Still trying to articulate exactly what I thought, but I did enjoy her. I will always remember Amy Morton in the role, but she is great.
- Pleasantly surprised by Ewan McGregor as Bill who I thought would be too attractive to play the role. He is a dorky and an aloof Bill.
- Margo Martindale is a hoot as Mattie Fae and her scenes with Chris Cooper as Charlie are wonderful. He in particular, in a very subtle and toned down performance, stole my heart in this film. The scene where he picks Little Charles up from the bus station is full of worlds of subtext and is just heartbreaking, perhaps only to those who know the real dynamics of the relationship at this point in the story.
- The Dion story is cut, more or less. We see the Sherrif come to the house to tell the bad news, and Barbara tells Jean the prom story in the back seat of the car on their way to identify the body. That's the extent. I can see why this whole story was dropped for the screen, though I'm curious if any of the scenes were shot or investigated in the screenplay.
- The Steve and Jean scenes are done very well and much more simply without dumbing anything down. Jean isn't as present in this as in the play (her whole scene in the attic with Johanna is out) but you still get the impression both Barbara and Bill are not there as fully as they should and how this affects her.
-The dinner scene is shot masterfully, virtually in its entirety. I just read a previous comment and was genuinely surprised at it being thought "confusing". The close ups are particularly effective. Barbara keeps glancing at Violet in the beginning as she's starting to go off, perhaps suspecting the drugs. Kudos to Ms. Roberts for her subtlety (when it's called for) in the scene. And indeed, she goes for Violet and it's scary and primal.
- I thought the changes or re-arrangements of scenes were done very well and were justified. Bev is found sooner than in the play (they have an open casket) for example.
**MILD SPOILER** - The ending/tag to the film I may need to see again to fully understand or know if I liked it. Barbara is driving away from the house. After a while pulls over, gets out, and tries to collect herself. After a while she does and while tearful, smiles to herself, gets in, and keeps on driving. Is she once and for all guilt free/no longer responsible for Violet? Is she ready for her next horizon? Will be curious what others think.

- The film is great! I think negative buzz at this point is just natural for something that started small and found a large audience. It is well done and john Wells is NOT out of his league. I don't know his TV career, nor do I care, since it never seemed to appear on screen.
- I will be curious how audiences will react in wide release. The gala opening yesterday and at the 11 am screening today was PACKED to rafters and several times the audience howled loudly (much like they did in New York) and gasped and winced and burst into applause several times. TIFF is an exciting and charmed experience and it will be interesting to see how "average joe" audiences react in theatres.

- It will be going to the Oscars, no question. There isn't a weak link in the cast and nomination-wise, it could go several ways. Expect nominations for Streep, Roberts, Martindale, Cooper, Letts, and Wells.

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