By all accounts, Tracy Letts’s play August: Osage County is worthy of all the accolades it received (see: Prize, Pulitzer and Award, Tony). By many of the same accounts, John Wells’s movie August: Osage County is an odious, pretentious piece of trash. I haven’t seen the play, but it has to be better than this movie. The cast shines, even when they chew the scenery, because why wouldn’t you want to watch Meryl Streep, Margo Martindale, and an unprecedented Julia Roberts tear the Oklahoma set to pieces? But the movie they’re surrounded by doesn’t feel real. For one, this is obviously everyone’s first time to Oklahoma, because they seem to think Oklahomans are cartoon characters and don’t talk like real human beings, especially not about the weather or Native Americans. And also, the way the plot is revealed is contrived, which probably plays better in a quiet theater than a noisy movie.
Quicker take: “Oklahoma sure is a messed up place.” -Hollywood