It is films like these that are the reason that I write reviews. I want to drive traffic to deserving films, and steer people away from ones that are not. Sure it is enjoyable to talk about a film that is near perfect. Then there is the other end of the spectrum. Not all my movies can get high scores.
Without a doubt August: Osage County is the worst movie I have seen all year. Congrats for beating out a smaller indie film I recently saw which I will not name because I don't like to bash on the underdog. This film had so much going for it with all the amazing actors and actresses. Before I go any further, I would like to make this undeniably clear: the acting is great, Oscar worthy even. That of course is why the film got two Oscar nominations for Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts. I won't knock their performances because they gave everything they could with what they had.
That being said, this film is a muddled mess. The picture is nothing more than watching a family fall apart. It is soap opera for the sake of soap opera - nothing more, nothing less. Then again one could make a point, that if it is soap opera, let it be a good one. This is not good one. If you want to watch a solid, well made film that runs borderline soap opera watch The Past (aka. Le Passé which is at Redbox now). That at least juggles with important themes of regret, repeating mistakes, trying to move ahead with your life but being stuck with the past, and redemption. August: Osage County has none of those. If there is any theme, it is if you are mean to people they will eventually leave. I thought I was taught that in kindergarten. Also if you dig really, really deep I guess you could say that August:Osage County slightly implies that mistakes and flaws are passed down by generation. What type of message is that though? Really?! Is there any redemption and beauty of human conflict with that type of message?
There is also no clear, rootable protagonist in this film, which makes the film all the more frustrating. If you are going to have this level of hate and drama in a film at least let the audience have some lead character to root for. The only ones worth liking in this film are side characters that are just background noise. I will have to give nods to them though. Benedict Cumberbatch especially is suberb with what screen time he was given. Furthermore, Chris Cooper is also great in this mess, and gives an almost heart warming speech towards the end. All the others are good as well, but it is all for naught.
I also can't knock the camera work or music, but I definitely won't applaud them either.
To sum it up, please don't watch this movie if you are looking for an enjoyable film to watch. Then again, if you are one of those people who enjoy films that aren't enjoyable still don't watch it. The story is paper thin, then it ends. The only thing redeemable thing about this film is the acting. That is it, end of story.
My personal Preference: 0.5/5
How well it was made: 2/5
(You can decide not to watch said film at your local Redbox)