“August: Osage County” Movie: Juicy, Too Theatrical; Streep Brilliant But Unsurprising

David Rooney is an excellent theatre critic, so I suspect that his review of “August: Osage County” at the Toronto Film Festival is probably accurate. Of this movie adaptation of Tracy Letts’ award-winning play, Rooney writes: The flick ‘is a fat juicy steak of a drama marinated in corrosive comedy.’ He adds that as the matriarch, Vi Weston, which Deanne Dunagan portrayed on Broadway in a performance for the ages, Meryl Streep is ‘mercurial, ferocious and funny’ but ‘like her work in another recent screen adaptation of a Broadway hit, “Doubt,” she hits all her marks with brilliant technique but brings no element of surprise. As good as Streep is, the chewy part actually might have benefited from a left-field casting choice.’ Finally, Rooney says: ‘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 dialog that resists being played in naturalistic closeup. But it’s nonetheless an entertaining adaptation, delivering flavorful rewards in some sharp supporting turns that flank the central mother-daughter adversaries.’

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