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August: Osage County Film with Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts at the AFI Fest

The film “August: Osage County” was part of the AFI FEST (American Film Institute) 2013 presented by Audi. An all star cast appeared for the red carpet screening Friday, November 8 at TCL Chinese Theaters in Hollywood.

The film based on Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award®-winning play features an extraordinary ensemble cast that includes Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliette Lewis, Margo Martindale, Dermot Mulroney and Sam Shepard. The dark comedy was directed by John Wells and George Clooney.

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George Clooney and Jacqueline Lyanga, AFI Fest Director, pose on arrival for a gala screening of the film “August: Osage County” which he directed, during the AFI Fest 2013 on November 8, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo credit: http://www.emirates247.com)

Although I found this film quite depressing, the acting was superb from Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Juliette Lewis, Dermot Mulroney, and more.  Meryl Streep, the pill popping mother and the alcoholic poet father played by Sam Shepard, show the hardships of being married so long as we learn the secrets of a family after a tragedy in the beginning. The three daughters played by Julia Roberts, Juliette Lewis, and Julianne Nicholson are back at the family homestead in Oklahoma trying to deal with not only a sudden tragedy, but their own relationship issues, as well as being raised by an insane mother who rips the family apart verbally. As the movie comes to a climax at dinner, shocking statements and grand secrets are revealed and although their lives seem so utterly depressing, the dialogue is quite funny.

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Julianne Nicholson, Meryl Streep, and Julia Roberts in August: Osage County (Photo credit: hollywoodreporter.com)

Some of my favorite lines include:

“Thank God we can’t tell the future. We’d never get out of bed.”

“We’re all just people, some of us accidentally connected by genetics, a random selection of cells. Nothing more.”

“Time wounds all heals.”

“I don’t know what it says about me that I have a greater affinity with the damaged. Probably nothing good.”

“My last refuge, my books: simple pleasures, like finding wild onions by the side of a road, or requited love.”

― Tracy Letts, August: Osage County

Two hilarious scenes include Julia Roberts screaming and swearing to eat the catfish at the dinner table to try to help protect her sister from learning the truth about who she really loves, and a dinner conversation about eating meat. “I don’t eat meat. You eat meat. You ingest fear. ”

The movie in one word is raw and only hope remains at the end.

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Juliette Lewis and Dermot Mulroney at the AFI Fest. (Photo credit: http://www.emirates247.com)

The big lessons one could take away from this movie are creating a loving and respectful family is important, not like this heart wrenching saga. This movie demonstrates to me what I don’t want, and also how sad it is that your family can so greatly influence your personality as we see Meryl Streep as Violet Weston recount a tale of her mean mother, only to realize she is acting similarly in her own children’s lives in the movie.

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The all star cast appeared for a discussion and question and answer after the screening minus Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep. (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)

After the movie we were lucky to be graced with the presence of this talented crew of performers, writers, directors, and producers. George Clooney shared how Julia Roberts said, “That’s Meryl fckn Streep!” about her first day working on set with the talented actress.  Talk ensued about how lucky they were to all to be working together, even to be at a table with two Pulitzer Prize writers.

The after party took place at the Audi SkyLounge located in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

Watch the official trailer HERE.

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