February 10, 2014

August: Osage County (2013)

Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, et al



I'm from what people refer to as a "fly over" state (which is actually quite stupid since no one goes out of their way to fly north over Minnesota unless they are flying to Canada). My point is, this offensive term was coined by people living on the coasts who think they are somehow superior just because they grew up living closer to an ocean.

That being said, I have been to Oklahoma in the summer (an actual fly over state, where this movie takes place), and it really is a hellhole you want to skip right over.

An actual picture from an Oklahoma summer

I recently ripped on Martin Scorsese for not walking on water. This time I'd like to talk about Meryl Streep not being God's gift to actresses. Nominated for 18 Oscars? Really? 18?? I know she's talented, but shouldn't the movie have to be enjoyable for us to consider her performance in it? Because I'd like to take her Oscar for The Iron Lady in 2012 and beat her with it until the accent she used to get nominated for Julie and Julia comes out of her brain.

"Oh I forgot. It doesn't matter if no one liked the movie.
I'll get nominated for an Oscar anyway."

Random thought: when the movie Philomena came out, did anyone else think that it sounded like someone was trying to say the word "phenomenal" but couldn't? No? Just me? Well anyway, Meryl Streep was philomena in this movie. Really. I know she's been nominated for a lot of Oscars (too many, as I've just covered), but I think this performance handily beats out her recent nominations. (Though again, we'e contending with movies like Doubt and Adaptation. Ugh.)

Now, normally I wouldn't address the complaints of other critics because, well, I don't get paid enough to care what they say (or at all). But I've heard multiple times that this movie suffers from overacting, to the point of performance. To which I say, duh.

This story was originally a play. Plays are meant to be overacted. That's why thespians are so annoying. They need to exaggerate the actions and project their voices so that the audience can hear them. This is why I never understand people who become infatuated with actors (besides the fact that they're complete strangers). Don't you realize they are probably just taller versions of the uncool people you didn't like in high school? So yes, this play has been adapted into a movie, but it still has the feel of a play. So the over-the-top theatrics don't feel out of place. Instead, they make you feel like you're uncomfortably trapped in the dining room of the Weston family, watching an absolute train-wreck of a family say all the things to each other you may think in your head but would never dare to say aloud to your own family.


At the end of the day, the plot isn't anything groundbreaking. It's your average dysfunctional family storyline with the obligatory plot "twists" to try and keep you surprised. It's also so packed with famous people you begin to wonder why some people are even there (I'm speaking directly to you, Ewan McGregor). And while pretty much everyone in the movie is at least recognizably famous, there are also some unfortunate famous people, like Abigail Breslin, this chick, and the guy who plays Khan from Star Trek Into Darkness. (I can't be bothered to learn all their names I hate them so much. I mean, the random chick I linked to was on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, which speaks for itself, and I can't take Benedict Cumberbatch seriously as any character but maybe Voldemort with that nose. And that name.) Oh, and don't get me started on the title...

But even with all those seemingly giant negatives against the movie, all credit to the thespians for pulling this one out. I thought the acting was compelling enough to keep me engaged, interested, and thoroughly impressed. Maybe it's just my penchant for depressing movies, but even the annoying Law & Order: Criminal Intent girl couldn't screw this up for me. 

Final word: Watching this movie will make you go home and hug whatever family member you have around just to prove you're a better person than Meryl Streep.

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