Sunday, November 23, 2014

Paddington

Director: Paul King

Starring: Sally Hawkins, Hugh Bonneville, Nicole Kidman, Peter Capaldi

Padding (voiced by Ben Whishaw) is a young talking bear forced to seek a new life in London after being displaced by a cataclysmic earthquake in his native Darkest Peru. Michael Bond’s beloved bear is back in this delightful family-friendly film. Wildly entertaining, genuinely funny and exuding a heart as sticky as a marmalade sandwich. Don’t miss it.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Exodus: Gods and Kings

Director: Ridley Scott

Starring: Ben Mendelsohn, Hiam Abbass, Maria Valverde, Golshifteh Farahani, Ben Kingsley, Isaac Andrews, Andrew Barclay Tarbet, Aaron Paul, Sigourney Weaver, Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, John Turturro, Indira Varma, Ewen Bremner, Ghassan Massoud, Tara Fitzgerald, Maria Valverde, Andrew Barclay Tarbet.

Time was when a Biblical epic came to the screen it was a major cinematic event. Unfortunately whilst this is a compelling tale of rivalry, ambition and betrayal set in ancient Egypt it fails to rise above average. Moses (Christian Bale) defies Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses (Joel Edgerton) and takes 400,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from a plagued ridden Egypt to the Promised Land. Features and international cast and they play their parts well in a long (150 minutes) but eye-catching movie.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Drop

Director: Michael Roskam

Starring: Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace , Michael Aronov , James Gandolfini, John Ortiz, Matthias Schoenaerts

A love story set in a cinema noir crime thriller in modern Brooklyn. Mild mannered Bob Saginowski (Tom Hardy) is the barman in his cousin’s pub. Merv (James Gandelfini) was once a the head of his own crime crew but due to some unspecified debt no longer owns Merv’s Bar but instead manages it for Chovka (Michael Aronov), a local Chechen crime lord. The working man’s bar is used to warehouse for dirty money. Bent on revenge Marv plans to get even by arranging to have the bar robbed during a big drop. Meantime Bob meets and falls for Nadia (Noomi Rapace) after he finds an abused pit bull puppy in her trash can. The dog belongs to Eric Deeds (Matthias Schoenaerts) a local thug who was once the boyfriend of Nadia and proceeds to menacingly stalk Bob. When Merve’s bar is robbed Detective Torres (John Ortiz), begins to take an interest as Chovka is suspicions Merv and Bob may have been involved. Things come to a head when the big drop from the Super Bowl Sunday is planned and the mystery of the complex characters unfold. Not for the faint hearted but a good movie none the less. Excellent performances from Tom Hardy (possible Oscar Nominee) and the late James Gandelfini.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pride

Director: Matthew Warchus

Starring: Paddy Considine, Ben Schnetzer, Dominic West, Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton

In 1984 Margaret Thatcher took on the miner’s union resulting in a national strike for almost a year. During which a bitter conflict between mining communities and the forces of law took place. A group of gay activists in London decide to give their support to the striking miners and their families after Mark Ashton (Ben Schnetzer) and his friend Mike Jackson (Joseph Gilgun) reason gays and striking miners claim three common enemies: the government, the police and the tabloids. They decide to support the strike and start fundraising. They are invited to Dulais, a small mining village in the valleys of south Wales, to hand over the monies to the strikers and their families. Not all goes well as the motley crew come face to face with a resentful and suspicious members of the Working Men’s Club. The local union rep Dai Donovan (Paddy Considine) and Cliff (Bill Nighy) a shy schoolteacher, extend a wavering hand of friendship as Hefina (Imelda Staunton) the village matriarch, and Sian James (Jessica Gunning) slowly rally the community to accept the visitors. The classic tale of opposites attract blossoms into an enjoyable feel good movie based on fact and joins the ranks of Brassed Off and the Full Monty. A good cast, great script, fab music which will have you laughing and crying in no time. A must see.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet (3D)

Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Starring: Kyle Catlett, Callum Keith Rennie, Helena Bonham Carter, Niamh Wilson, Judy Davis

An adaptation of Reif Larsen’s, The Selected Works of TS Spivet, this is a gentle satire of American life. Young genius, TS (Kyle Catlett) lives in Montana and after he wins a top award from the Smithsonian museum for his ground breaking invention he secretly leaves home on a precarious journey to collect the prestigious "Baird Prize". TS’s twin brother has died and his retro cowboy dad (Callum Keith Rennie), eccentric scientist mum (Helena Bonham Carter), and super-normal sister (Niamh Wilson) are all sensitized to the vulnerability of the young ten year old. Once the crafty head of the Smithsonian Institute (Judy Davis) realizes the situation she plans to exploit the boy for her own ambitions. A fine family adventure beautifully shot but not a patch on Amélie.

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Infinite Man

Director: Hugh Sullivan

Starring: Josh McConville, Hannah Marshall, Alex Dimitriades

A Sci-fi romantic comedy from Australia. Young and unorthodox scientist Dean (Josh McConville) uses his technical expertise to create grand romantic gestures for his long suffering girlfriend Lana (Hannah Marshall). When things go terribly wrong on their anniversary weekend the creative inventor builds a time travel gizmo to try to rectify his amorous mistakes. In doing so, unwittingly he creates multiple clones of himself each one in competition with the next. Just when think things are too complex in pops Lana’s ex, Terry (Alex Dimitriades) a true alpha male. Dean meantime loses Lana in a recurring temporal loop. Funny plot but soon becomes rather repetitive and confusing. Good performances from the cast.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Magic in the Moonlight

Director: Woody Allen

Starring: Colin Firth, Simon McBurney, Emma Stone, Gay Harden, Jackie Weaver, Hamish Linklater, Erica Leerhsen

A French farce set in the 1930s. Stanley Crawford (Colin Firth) is a celebrated British magician who performs under the moniker Wei Ling Soo. Off stage the narcistic illusionist despises fake psychics and spends his time exposing faux spiritualists. When his friend, Howard Burkan (Simon McBurney) discovers his wealthy relatives living on the French Riviera may be under the spell of charismatic charlatan, Sophie Baker (Emma Stone), and her mother (Marcia Gay Harden), he calls Stanley for help. The family matriarch (Jackie Weaver) is trying to contact the spirit of her dearly departed husband. Try as Stanley might he cannot find fault with the enigmatic medium and inevitably falls under her spell. Great performances from the cast and superb photography from Darius Khondji captures the mood perfectly. The only drawback here is the tardy script, but it is a Woody Allen movie and a charming one for all that.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie

Director: Ben Kellett

Starring : Brendan O'Carroll, Rory Cowan, Robert Bathurst, Pat Shields, Paddy Houlihan, Eilish O’Carroll, Danny O’Carroll

Rarely does a TV sit com translate to the big screen and Mrs Brown’s Boys D movie is no exception. Agnes Brown (Brendan O'Carroll) is a Dublin housewife and Moore Street trader. She is facing financial ruin and under threatening pressure from a sinister property developer along with Russian heavies to sell her stall. Agnes rallies the troops and her sons Mark (Pat Shields), Rory (Rory Cowan) and Dermot (Paddy Houlihan), next-door neighbour Winnie (Eilish O’Carroll), along with boozy solicitor Buster Brady (Danny O’Carroll) come to the rescue. Look out for the hapless Blind ninjas but if you are offended by a stream of expletives cover your ears. In the final court room battle a posh barrister (Robert Bathurst) with Tourette's tries his best to save the day. Full of low-brow jokes and smutty innuendos. There are a few good belly laughs and the rest is pure pantomime. I loved the inclusion of mucked up scenes which raises this average comedy into the surreal. Don’t miss the beginning of the movie otherwise you will miss the best gag.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Guerra da Beatriz (Beatriz's War)


Director: Luigi Aquisto and Bety Reis

Starring: Irim Tolentino, Jose Da Costa, Sandra Da Costa, Eugenio Soares, Doretea Soares, Augusta Soares, Osme Gonsalves, Commander Funu Lakan

An East Temor film which is a reworking of the 16th century French ‘Martin Guerre’ story (The Return of Martin Guerre (1982) but transposed from Medievil France to Portuguese Timor during the Indonesian occupation. Beatriz (Irim Tolentino) ’s young husband Thomas (Jose Da Costa ) disappears during a brutal massacre by occupying Indonesian forces, sixteen years later the revolutionary is troubled by his return. Could this mysterious stranger be her husband or is he an impostor? The film explores the intimate relationship between men and women in the backdrop of continued violence in the country. It is a haunting, passionate story of one woman’s conviction to remain true to the man she loves and the country for which she fought. The movie is slow to start but makes for compelling viewing. 'Beatriz's War' is the first East Timor's feature film in its post-colonization period.

Deepsea Challenge 3D

Director and Narrator: James Cameron

Filmmaker James Cameron has dreamed of a journey to the deepest part of the ocean since he was a boy. Deep Sea Challenge 3D chronicles his historic expedition to deep-sea Mariana Trenches in the Pacific Ocean. These are the deepest recesses on the planet as more deep than Everest is high. The movie does however concentrate more on the design and building of Deepsea Challenger, the state of the art submersible that can withstand the extraordinary pressure of being seven miles under the sea. Only laterally do we actually witness the solo dive combined with a few hiccups along the way. Interesting without being riveting.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Still Life


Director: Uberto Pasolini

Starring: Eddie Marsan, Joanne Froggatt, Karen Drury, Andrew Buchan

John May (Eddie Marsan) is a local council worker responsible for arranging the funerals of people who die and have no known next of kin. Dedicated to the task he spends his spare time combing through any available clues the deceased have left behind such as photographs, letters, music, clothes, and composes a funeral service to bid them farewell from this world. He organizes funerals for all denominations that invariably only he and the local priest are in attendance. When no relatives can be found he also scatters the ashes of the deceased, adding their file photo to the album he keeps in his sad council flat. Dedicated to the vocation May suddenly finds himself redundant after 22 years when his department is downsized. Determined to complete his last case in his own time, he begins to reflect on the narrowness of his life. Comedy and tragedy are closely intertwined in this sober, human drama where Marsan’s performance is superb. Exquisitely morbid.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Most Wanted Man

A spy movie based on a novel by John le Carré. Gunther Bachmann, (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is a seedy spy in Hamburg and belongs to low-profile intelligence unit involved in preventing security threats by any means they see fit. The shrewd leader keeps his finger on the pulse whilst taking all the hard decisions as they monitor the local Muslim community post Sept 11. When a Chechen-Russian, Issa Karpov (Grigoriy Dobrygin) appears from nowhere seeking political asylum, it sets the spy community on high alert. The situation becomes cloudier when a local banker and civil rights advocate (Rachel McAdams) gets involved, along with a shady money man (Willem Dafoe) who is hired to help the refugee gain access to a sizable inheritance. CIA agent Martha Sullivan (Robin Wright) is keen to discover all. Meantime Issa, a seemingly devout Muslim, is establishing contacts with a prominent local Muslim community leader, Dr. Faisal Abdullah (Homayoun Ershadi), whose moderate credentials are deeply doubted by Bachmann and Sullivan. The shadowy story is a jigsaw puzzle in which all the pieces are of an indistinguishable grey, making fitting them together a tricky matter. Not a patch on Tinker taylor soldier spy, but for fans of the genre not to be missed. Philip Seymour Hoffman in one of his last roles is excellent.

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Two Faces of January

Director: Hossein Amini
Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Isaac, Kirsten Dunst

A Hitchcock type thriller set in the Mediterranean in the 60s and based on Patricia Highsmith’s novel. Glamorous American couple Chester and Colette MacFarland (Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst) are on holiday by the Acropolis and bump into a small-time hustler and tour guide Rydal (Oscar Isaac). Rydal sees a wealthy mark and offers them a private tour confident he can skim a little extra off the top from such sophisticated yet seemingly naïve tourists. But is all as it seems? Transpires the suave Chester is himself a major criminal and when he kills the private investigator who is tracking them they must flee and use the unsuspecting Rydal to good effect. The trio board a ferry to Crete to escape the hue and cry but when Rydal finds himself smitten with Colette jealousy and paranoia set the characters on a collision course. If only the drama matched the cinematography this would be a wonderful movie. Sadly it does not and what you see is not a Hitchcock masterpiece.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Fault In Our Stars


Director: Josh Boone

Starring: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Laura Dern

Based on John Green’s novel “The Fault in our Stars is a teenage tear jerker flick involving Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley) a feisty teenager recovering from the aftermath of childhood cancer and now carries an oxygen tank with her everywhere. In a recovery group she meets a charming upbeat, young man Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort ) who has lost one leg to cancer. Touchingly they fall in love. A heartfelt story which never really feels insincere. Elgort’s character is less credible however but good supporting performance from Laura Dern as Hazel’s mother, whose silent suffering at her daughter’s fragile mortality, makes this a watchable movie. Take your box of tissues.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Healing

Director: Craig Monahan
Starring: Hugo Weaving, Don Hany, Mark Leonard Winter, Xavier Samuel

A meandering story about triumph over human frailty. Viktor Khadem (Don Hany), a convicted killer from Iran spends his final years of an 18-year prison sentence in a low-security prison farm run. Keen ornithologist and case worker Matt Perry (Hugo Weaving) recommends bereft Khadem takes part in caring for ailing birds in the prison farm's new bird sanctuary. Viktor uncharacteristically takes to the task and recruits his troubled roommates Paul (Xavier Samuel) and Shane (Mark Leonard Winter) and together they reassemble some semblance of their lives despite the menace from fellow inmates. Fine photography from cinematographer Andrew Lesnie, some good support especially Hugo Weaving, but otherwise little else to make this movie memorable. Definitely not Kes.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Fading Gigolo

Director: John Turturro

Starring: Woody Allen, Sharon Stone , Sofia Vergara, John Turturro, Liev Schreiber

Not always in the mood for Woody Allen movie but this is funny. Fading Gigolo depicts the unique and unusual friendship between florist Fioravante (John Turturro) and Murray (Woody Allen) an aging hustler. Sharon Stone plays the gorgeous dermatologist, Dr. Parker who admits to Murray that she and her equally voluptuous friend Selima (Sofia Vergara) are looking for a man to have a threesome with. Keen to capitalize Murray convinces his friend Fioravante, a most unlikely candidate for the ménage à trios, that he is the man for the job. Reluctantly Fioravante agrees and successfully seduces Dr. Parker. Soon, the word gets out and the new Don Juan has a stable of new clients thanks to his bumbling pimp. Just as things are going well Cupid’s arrow strikes and a jilted lover seeks revenge. Full of quirky leads, rambling dialogue, and improbable events, this has all the hallmarks of an Allen classic (albeit he does not direct). Highly recommended.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The other woman

Director: Nick Cassavetes

Starring: Leslie Mann, Cameron Diaz), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

A chick flick about Kate (Leslie Mann) is happy suburban housewife who discovers her husband, Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) has a girlfriend called Carly (Cameron Diaz), and a rather glamorous lawyer to boot. Once the truth is out the two women form an uneasy alliance only to discover there is another woman, in his life, bimbo Amber (Kate Upton). Together the trio makes a pact to revenge themselves. Feather light farce.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Divergent

Director: Neil Burger

Cast:Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Zoe Kravitz, Kate Winslet, Miles Teller, Ashley Judd, Maggie Q

SF set in the future teenager Beatrice aka Tris (Shailene Woodley) has grown up in a decaying Chicago, after much of the world was destroyed in war. The survivors have instituted a new form of social order to ensure the sustained peace. The community is divided into five coded factions based on personality: Abnegation (selfless), Amity (peaceful), Candor (honest), Erudite (intelligent) and Dauntless (brave). When teenagers come of age, they are subjected to a series of tests to determine their factional predisposition, and while 99 percent of them fall clearly into one group or another, every so often a 'divergent' individual comes along whose skills and feelings cross into multiple factions. The problem with divergents is they are uncontrollable and threaten the status quo. Beatrice is a divergent and despite her Abnegation family chooses to join the Dauntless. When Jeanine (Kate Winslet) the leader of the Erudites begins to question the system and the balance of power begins to shift Tris has to choose between faction and family. Woodley is the standout in this movie based on Veronia Roth’s bestselling Young Adult novel. Not at all my kind of film but will have appeal to younger people.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Mr. Peabody & Sherman

Director: Rob Minkoff

Starring: Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Stephen Tobolowsky, Leslie Mann, Allison Janney, Dennis Haysbert

A new 3D animation adventure for all the family. Mr. Peabody (Ty Burrell) is a very clever dog and invents a time machine. He and his adopted son Sherman (Max Charles) travel back in time to experience world-changing events firsthand and interact with some of the greatest characters of the ages. Unfortunately young Sherman breaks the rules of time travel and Mr Peabody tries to undo this faux pas under incredible duress. Based on the TV animated series Rocky and Friends, The Bullwinkle show and Peabody's Improbably History Segments. The movie is funny, clever, well-made, entertaining and peppered with humor that works on every level for all ages.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Cuban Fury

Director: James Griffiths

Starring: Nick Frost, Chris O’Dowd, Rashida Jones, Kayvan Novak, Ian McShane, Olivia Colman, Wendi McLendon-Covey

Formulaic comedy starring Nick Frost as Bruce Garrett (former child salsa dancer) a lonely overweight engineer. Our hero spends most of his day being belittled by a womanising colleague Drew (Chris O’Dowd) but when a new and beautiful boss called Julia (Rashida Jones) arrives, Bruce is determined to win her heart. She loves salsa and Bruce needs to get back his mojo with the help of Began (Kay van Novak), a flamboyantly gay man in Bruce’s dance class. Despite support from Ian McShane as Bruce’s grizzled former dance instructor Ron this is a tired movie with a few good one liners and reasonable dance sequences. If you need see it wait for the DVD.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Missing Picture

Director: Rithy Panh
Voiced by: Randal Duc

The tragic story of Cambodia under the rule of the communist-inspired Khmer Rouge told in animation by miniature clay figures. The actual absence of photographic evidence of the Pol Pot regime left Panh to tell his story with manikins as well as explain the title of the documentary. The subject matter is is not for the faint hearted but a powerful documentary of the Pol Pot's Killing Fields, none the less. Told through the eyes of a child the animation is spellbinding. One definately for all history and art house buffs.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hannah Arendt

Director: Margarethe Von Trotta

Starring: Barbara Sukowa, Janet McTeer, Mary McCarthy

This is the complex story of Hannah Arendt (Barbara Sukowa), a Manhattan-based German-Jewish philosopher, who volunteered to cover the Adolf Eichmann trial in 1961 for the New Yorker magazine. Arendt was incarcerated in the notorious French detention camp, Gurs, but was able to escape. In 1941, Arendt and her family obtained special visas through Hiram Bingham, U.S. Vice Consul in Marseilles, France, who helped over 2,500 Jews flee from France as Nazi forces advanced. Finally, Arendt, her husband and her mother immigrated to the United States and settled on the Upper West side of New York City. Controversially she accused former Jewish leaders of passive complicity in the Holocaust and was branded a Nazi sympathizer. The movie explores her private life and is inter-spaced with actual footage of the Eichmann trial. Not an easy movie to watch despite a great performance from Sukowa in the leading role the support cast is rather weak.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Nebraska

Director: Alexander Payne

Starring: Bruce Dern, June Squibb, Will Forte, Stacy Keach

Woody Grant (Bruce Dern) is an old man with a dream of winning a fortune. Time is running out so after receving a letter telling him he may have won a lump sum he goes on a road trip to Lincoln, Nebraska to tell his estranged family he is a millionaire. His wife Kate (June Squibb) is sure Woody is mad and son David (Will Forte), an unambitious hi-fi salesman is left to drive Woody to Lincoln. When Woody’s old business partner Ed Pegram (Stacy Keach) demands some of the money things start to heat up. Shot in black and white this is a very funny film which explores missed opportunities and family relationships.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Tracks

Director: John Curran

Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Adam Driver, Rolley Mintuma, John Flaus, Robert Coleby

This is a dramatization of Robyn Davidson’s remarkable journey across 1,700 miles of Australian desert in 1977. The Camel lady (Mia Wasikowska) bravely took four camels and a black dog from Alice Springs through an arduous journey across inhospitable terrain to the Indian Ocean. Her exploits are often resentfully caught by photographer, Rick Smolan (Adam Driver) who documents her journey for National Geographic magazine. Mr. Eddie (Rolley Mintuma), an Aboriginal elder guides her across a stretch of country dotted with sacred sites. The brilliant cinematography by Mandy Walker will also have you reaching for a thirst quenching drink in this fabulous travelogue movie of a liberated young women trying to resolve inner issues. Worth a watch.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Book Thief

Director: Brian Percival

Starring: Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Sophie Nélisse, Ben Schnetzer, Nico Liersch, Joachim Paul Assböck, Kirsten Block, Sandra Nedeleff

Based on the award-winning novel by Australian author Markus Zusak the drama is set in Nazi Germany during the war and follows young Liesel (Sophie Nélisse) and her relationships with her foster parents Hans (Geoffrey Rush) and Rosa (Emily Watson) Hubermann; Max, (Ben Schnetzer), the Jewish man who hides in their home and Rudy (Nico Liersch) the little boy next door. Liesel develops a love affair with words and feeds her thirst by stealing books from the loca Burgemeister and reading them to Max. A beautiful story superbly brought to the screen with some sublime moments which make up for any discordant elements in the film. Good performances all round although it is a bit long and take a box of hankies.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Dallas Buyers Club

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner, Denis O’Hare

In 1985 when rodeo roustabout Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) is told he has HIV Aids and 30 days left to live he refuses to accept medical opinion. Instead the roughneck decides to fight not only the stigma but also the medical and pharmaceutical companies that controlled effective medications. He goes to Mexico and with the help of unlicensed Dr Vass (Griffin Dunn) acquires pharmacy not available in the US. He smuggles this over the border and starts supplying to AID victims. Reluctantly he overcomes his own homophobia and befriends Rayon (Jared Leto) a transvestite and fellow sufferer and together they start a successful business called the Dallas Buyer's Club providing experimental drugs to "help" others suffering. This is a hard hitting drama tinged with humour and takes a look at the world in the early days of the AIDS epidemic. Great performances from the cast in a movie well worth seeing.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

12 Years A Slave

Director: Steve McQueen

Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, Sarah Paulson, Alfre Woodard, Paul Dano, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyong'o

Based on a true story , Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) was a free African American man living in Saratoga in 1841 when he is kidnapped by travelling charlatans and sold into slavery. For the next twelve miserable years he lives as a slave in the Southern States and endures complete degredation. Great performances from the cast in a slow moving narrative graphically illustrated with brutality . Arguably contexturally based and accurate but designed to shock. Not for the faint hearted. Much as I wanted to enjoy the film, I didn’t.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

August: Osage Country

Director: John Wells

Starring: Julia Roberts, Abigail Breslin, Sam Shepard, Meryl Streep, Misty Upham, Margo Martindale, Chris Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Julianne Nicholson, Juliette Lewis, Dermot Mulroney, Ewan McGregor

A cinematic adaptation of Tracy Letts' 2007 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about a dysfunctional Oklahoma family. Violet Weston (Meryl Streep) is the matriarch of a family of secrets all of which spill out venomously in the aftermath of a family funeral. After the death of her husband, Beverly (Sam Shepard), the close family gather for the funeral and the monstrous Violet lets rip matched ably by her eldest daughter Barbara (Julia Roberts). Great performances all round in a movie full of fights, insults, and sadistic parent-child mind games. Recommend seeing it but (imo) August: Osage County is best suited for the stage.