dir: John Wells
Some families… some families are so toxic that they shouldn’t exist.
Some characters are so toxic that they’ll either make you cringe in horror, or you’ll feel compelled to give them awards, to make them stay away.
Perhaps that is, in part, the theory here, with August: Osage County. Rarely have I seen an ensemble cast in such desperate need of awards, all of them swinging for the bleachers, as an American abusing a sports metaphor would aver. Almost every single one of them gets their special scene that should have For Your Consideration underneath them as they’re intoning their cumbersome, purple dialogue.
It's overstuffed with good actors, and they all want their chance, but perhaps there's too many of them, and too many of those awards-grubbing scenes for this to be anything but an actor's showcase.
Still, it's no surprise that Meryl Streep was nominated, playing the monstrous matriarch of this toxic clan. So, sure, she 'acts' the most, flexing her acting muscles in every single scene, but that's what you hire Meryl to do. At this stage of her career, it's almost impossible for her to not receive Oscars just for showing up. If she went to the opening of a carwash and cut the ribbon, she'd probably earn herself an Oscar or a BAFTA or a Gold Logie just for saying, "It is an honour to be here."