Of all the films currently screening at the Toronto International Film Festival, August: Osage County is amongst those getting the most buzz from critics and festival-goers alike. Julia Roberts has already called it "the best acting experience of my life" — "I've never worked so hard in my life – and I've given birth to three children," — but, how exactly are the critics responding to the flick? Thanks to USA Today, a round-up of the reviews:
- From The Guardian , which only gave the movie two stars: "It's bracing, but it does feel closer to panto than melodrama, more exhausting than illuminating ... The Weston home is a hulking halfway house, and you can't help but wish you were just watching a filmed version of the original production."
- From The Hollywood Reporter , who called it a "solid reworking" of the original production: "Arriving on the screen with mixed dividends from an all-star cast, the film doesn't shed its inherent theatricality, stringing together speeches and showdowns peppered with nuggets of stagey dialogue that resists being played in naturalistic close-up. But it's nonetheless an entertaining adaptation, delivering flavorful rewards in some sharp supporting turns that flank the central mother-daughter adversaries."
- From Variety , who claims there were "no surprises" in the film: "There are no surprises — just lots of good, old-fashioned scenery chewing — in August: Osage County, director John Wells' splendid film version of playwright Tracy Letts' acid-tongued Broadway triumph about three generations in a large and highly dysfunctional Oklahoma family."
August: Osage County, if you're not aware, was directed by John Wells and stars Meryl Streep as a woman dealing with the suicide of her husband, and Julia Roberts, Juliette Lewis, and Julianne Nicholson as her daughters. It is based on Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize-winning play by the same name.
Mixed reviews or not, this definitely seems like one to watch — whether or see it flourish, or crash and burn upon official release. Also, when Meryl's involved, how could it really go wrong?
You can check out the trailer below.