August: Osage County

My first impression from the trailer is that this is something like Nebraska, where you’d find humor in the most common places of life in the backdrop of a drama. I was dead wrong. Nebraska is funny. Yes, you will find certain settings low in the spirit. People, in some sense, are trapped in their lives. The dad who is looking for the million-dollar sweepstake is never going to have his prize. Or…the Nebraskans are never going to be ‘hip’. (I’m sorry if you’re a Nebraskan. I’m sure you’re an exception.) But you’ll find yourself chuckling at the subtlety of how the director frames the mundanes of everyday’s life in a remote suburban town under the scope of absolute silliness, making fun of human greed and foolishness. You’ll even find yourself laughing out loud at scenes like when the mother in her senior age lifting her skirt up at her ex-boy-friend’s graveyard, showing him what he ‘could have had’ if he had pursued her when he was alive! (You’d be asking your out loud “Did she just do that?”) But not this movie. August: Osage County is one depressing movie.

The story is about three daughters Barbara, Ivy, and Karen, getting back together to visit their mother at the disappearance of their father. Every character is trapped within her own situation with no way out. The pain is like a disease passed from one generation to the next. Symbolically, the mother (played by Meryl Streep) has cancer in her mouth, and her youngest daughter Karen needed to have a hysterectomy because of cervical cancer. Like the cancer, the broken relationship is also passed on from one generation to the next, which is evident when Barbara’s daughter rolled up the car window as she was driven away by her dad.

At the end of the movie, all three sisters left the home they grew up, each bringing with her a brokenness that she knew she could not escape. If you wish to enjoy your afternoon with a movie, I wouldn’t recommend this one.




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