August Osage County

I finally got around to watching August Osage County (the film) tonight and I have to say, it had much more humor than the play. When we attended the play last year at the Ahmanson Theatre,  I had an urge that wasn’t completely ignored to fall asleep every time someone raised his or her voice. So, if you are familiar with the play, I spent a lot of time with my eyes closed and my head lolling over my chest. Spittle running out of my agape mouth. The five hours flew by and I was restored by the end.

It took me three months to convince my husband that we should watch the screener they sent him prior to the SAG awards. I’m surprised it still worked and they haven’t found a way to make them self destruct like the tapes on the TV show “Mission Impossible” when I was a kid. It’s probably just a matter of time.

So when I popped it into the DVD player and discovered there were no sub-titles, I thought I’d be watching it alone. But Jimmie hung in there and we watched it together to the very  bitter end.

Meryl Streep was amazing in the film, as was Julia Roberts. Both incredibly courageous performances – neither afraid to look as ugly as their roles demanded.  And it is a Greek tragedy, that story. Suicide, drugs, racism, incest, molestation, cancer – it had it all. A veritable cornucopia of psychotic melodrama. Very entertaining, right?

Seeing that large snake pit of a dinner scene took me right back to my childhood – not. No matter how dis-functional my family was at the time of the disintegration of my parents’ marriage, we never came close to the level of venom in that dinner scene. Watching it made me feel bad for Tracy Letts. What must his childhood have been like? And didn’t we all have  beautiful childhoods next to that?

I guess when you finish watching a movie like that, you are supposed to feel cleansed, singed by the cancer-encrusted profanities of Violet, vulnerable as her daughter, Ivy, who flees from her filial duties, and hope-filled, as Julia Roberts  drives off in her pickup truck in her pajamas – that’s always how I escape emotionally climactic scenes- in my pjs and in my Ford pickup.

Makes you just feel so lucky to be in a strong and solid relationship with family members who are glad to see you when they see you. I think I’ll stay where I am, as appealing as those plains were. And, by the way, it’s okay to self-destruct that CD now…

 

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