Nominated Role: Meryl Streep portrays Violet Weston, an Oklahoma matriarch whose three grown daughters return home for their father’s funeral.
Believe it or not, but this is Meryl Streep’s eighteenth Academy Award nomination, holding the record for most nominations in the history of the Oscars, starting with “The Deer Hunter” (1979) all the way to “The Iron Lady” (2011) to which she won the Oscar for Best Actress In A Leading Role. Now, she is nominated once again, this time for her work in stage play turned screenplay “August: Osage County”. The fact that she was nominated over Emma Thompson in “Saving Mr. Banks” leaves many pundits upset, leading me to believe Streep doesn’t have much of a chance to win this year, but in my personal opinion, Streep’s is the better performance and captivates completely. Playing the overbearing matriarch of a family in Oklahoma, the layered performance of Streep, giving it her all at the age of 64, Streep holds the highs and the lows of the film right next to co-star Julia Roberts, who we will get to in a moment. Stricken ironically with mouth cancer, Streep’s Violet is addicted to prescription medication and is showing the telltale signs of a drug addict in their late stages of life, filled with mood swings and dementia. From screaming at her family at the dinner table, to weeping in the bathroom after her daughter Barbara questions her drug addiction, Streep leaves it all on the table and turns a film that is a stage play at its core, into something worth watching for over two hours. Streep is an icon in film and continues her legacy with ease, however, this is Cate Blanchett’s (“Blue Jasmine”) year and there will be no beating her, especially with zero love for “August: Osage County” apart from Streep’s and Roberts’ nominations. Although many will argue that Streep is past her prime, I beg to differ, as I am sure we’ll be seeing Streep win another Oscar before the end of her acting run.
Nominated Role: Julia Roberts plays Barbara Weston, a woman angered by her collapsing marriage who returns to her childhood home following her father’s death.
One cannot imagine how hard it would be to hold your own against an actress as iconic as Meryl Streep, but Julia Roberts does that and more as she steals the show in “August: Osage County”. Returning to her childhood home after the death of her father, Roberts plays Barbara, one of Streep’s daughters, the “favorite” if you will. Dealing with her own problems as her marriage falls apart and her daughter becomes unrecognizable as a result, Barb must also deal with the secrets that surface while she’s home. Mirroring many of her mother’s traits, Barb faces the reality that she may just be becoming the exact person she doesn’t want to be. Roberts also runs the emotional gambit in her role, going from a grieving daughter who has lost her father, to a temperamental leader in the ranks of the family, to the calm and collected family member who knows what she must do to help herself. Like with Streep, “August: Osage County” is not gaining any love from the other Oscar categories, leading one to believe there’s not much chance for her to win. With Jennifer Lawrence (“American Hustle”) and Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years A Slave”) vying for this category, Roberts will have to settle for her fourth nomination, having won previously for her role in “Erin Brockovich” (2000).
// Produced by George Clooney, Jean Doumanian, Grant Heslov, Steve Traxler, Bob Weinstein, and
Harvey Weinstein // Directed by John Wells //
// Dated Viewed: Friday, January 24th, 2014 // Laemmle NoHo’s 7 // 34 films – 38 days //