Tag Archives: tragic comedy

August: Osage County – A Tour de Force

For playwright Tracy Letts, “August: Osage County” has been a labor of love.  Now Letts has adapted his Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play into a screenplay, and with Director John Wells at the helm, Letts’ beloved masterpiece about the dysfunctional Weston family has been made into an equally funny and deeply moving film.

I just attended the AFI FEST’s Gala screening of “August: Osage County” at the TCL Chinese Theater in downtown Hollywood, where Director John Wells introduced the film’s Academy Award winning Producers George Clooney and Grant Heslov, and some of the cast.

"August: Osage County" Director John Wells with cast members Juliette Lewis, Dermot Mulroney and Julianne Nicholson.

“August: Osage County” Director John Wells with cast members Juliette Lewis, Dermot Mulroney and Julianne Nicholson and Producers George Clooney and Grant Heslov.

The ensemble cast of the film “August: Osage County”, which includes Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper and Benedict Cumberbatch, is a tour de force.  As I experienced the film, I couldn’t get over how perfectly and meticulously the actors had been matched with their characters.  You couldn’t hope for a better adaptation of an already perfect play.

“Blue Jasmine”, a perfect “Stories of Everyday Madness”

“Blue Jasmine” written and directed by Woody Allen is in my view a perfect “Stories of Everyday Madness”.  Cate Blanchett literally chews up the screen as the “vapid and narcissistic socialite” who moves in with her financially strapped sister played spot-on by Sally Hawkins.  As one sister slips into genuine madness, the other one desperately defends her ordinary, unimpressive life.  The result is a frenetic and intense story about deeply flawed relationships that artfully delivers both human absurdity and tragic comedy at its best.  The Oscar bound performances of Blanchett and Hawkins are supported by an equally brilliant cast, which includes:  Alec Baldwin, Bobby Cannavale and Peter Sarsgaard.