At the movies

If you want to feel better about life, buy a ticket to August: Osage County.

The last time I saw that much dirty laundry, my daughter still lived with us.

Matriarch Violet Weston (Meryl Streep) takes pills to cool mouth cancer and feed an addiction. Her husband is a boozer. One daughter is going through a divorce, and another one wants to run off with her first cousin.

When Violet’s husband dies, everyone converges in the pressure cooker of an Oklahoma farmhouse.

This is Streep’s stage and she commands it masterfully, going from drug-induced maniac to nostalgic mother without missing a beat. But the ensemble cast is first-rate, as well, particularly the supporting performances of Chris Cooper and Margo Martindale, who plays Mattie Fae, Violet’s sister.

The movie feels real. Anyone who grew up in a rural setting will recognize some member of their extended family at the Weston supper table.

And as a Tulsan, I enjoyed the authentic Oklahoma scenery.

I have seen those round hay bales perched in rolling fields and the pumpjack in the middle of Pawhuska. I have driven those long roads in Osage County that lead to nowhere.

Tulsan Tracy Letts wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning play on which the movie is based.

He is deserving.




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