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

Directed by: John Wells

Synopsis: A look at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them.

When I first heard about this film, I thought it must be some sort of Beaches style chick flick, where groups of women sit around and get all weepy. Then I read that it was based on a play by Tracy Letts who wrote Bug and Killer Joe and suddenly I was perplexed. This doesn’t sound like the kind of guy who would write a chick flick?

He did, kind of, but a really dark sort of one. I thought it was a superb drama, with some terrific acting throughout by the ensemble cast. Meryl Streep was in full “give me another Oscar” mode, Julia Roberts was probably better than she has been in years (if I could only remember anything she has been in for the last decade) and I thought Chris Cooper was the pick of the guys in the movie.

This movie, beyond that first impression, has all sorts going on under the surface. Death, incest, broken marriages, alcoholism, drug addiction, underage sexual encounters and lord knows what else. See, never judge a book by it’s cover, Beaches it ain’t! I may have piqued your interest stating those themes, and I hope so. Likewise, I may have turned you off the film all together, which would be a shame as you would be missing out on a cracker.

Like me, you may have had a certain perception of this film when you saw the synopsis and cast, but just bare in mind who wrote it and then make yourself watch it, and I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

4 clappers

About thomasjford

I like Movies and Music and most things popular culture.


  1. By Tracy Letts – hmmm I really liked Killer Joe…
    Seems like I’ll be going to watch this!
    Thanks for your insights, Tom! 🙂

  2. lovefromtara

    can’t wait to watch it now. I love Julia Roberts aswell, I was actually surpised when you saud she was in it, she hasn’t been in a lot recently. never the less, I enjoyed this review tom 🙂

    • Yeah she does seem to have disappeared off the radar for a long time now. She was pretty good in it though

      • lovefromtara

        that’s good to know, I think her and Sandra bullock are amazing actresses, although youre onto something because sandran bullock did something similar she kinda dropped off the radar for a bit then bam, gravity comes out.

      • Absolutely! Maybe 2013/14 is the years when the 90s legends come back!

      • lovefromtara

        I hope so! there are some good movies coming out later in the year, i’m actually really excited about it

      • What one are you looking forward to most?

      • lovefromtara

        lol well, for purposes no other than I loved the tv show – veronica mars. but the remake of annie and the legends of oz, only because I want to see whether or not they’ve destroyed my favourite movies lke they did with Charlie and the chocolate factory haha

      • They’re doing another Oz film? Did you like the James Franco one?

      • lovefromtara

        yeah another one, but its a cartoon. I haven’t seen it yet, i hear its alright but i’ll watch it sometime this week and let you know what i think

  3. I am extremely curious about seeing this movie, especially considering who is in it. The only thing that put me off was the “incest” thing…Icky,lol

  4. Looks too Oscar-baity for me..

  5. Good review Thomas. The acting is quite good, but it can be a bit “loud” and “over-the-top” at times, which really did make me wonder what it was that I was watching. Was it an actual, genuine story about a dysfunctional family coming together and unearthing hurtful feelings, or was it just an acting class with some very talented people?

  6. I was not impressed by the trailer, but with all this positive hype and the great cast, I may just have to watch this. Fine read with your review, and glad it did not turn out to be a typical chick flick. By the way, Traci Letts must have an odd thing for incest….

    Killer Joe had it too, with the brother dreaming about his sister naked.

    • Yeah Killer Joe was pretty dark wasn’t it. This isn’t anywhere near as dark, but I thought it was fairly good. You’re right though, from the trailer and synopsis etc it doesn’t look great.

  7. giorge thomas

    This is definitely on ‘the list.’

  8. Again nice review. It has a great cast, and am really keen on watching this. Both Meryl Streep & Julia Roberts are nominated for Oscars. I never felt this might be some silly chick flick. Especially with Streep in the lead. Roberts maybe, but I doubt Streep would do anything that’s not meant for a broader audience than giggly headed teenage girls (of course the term broader audience ironically narrows down to more intellectual, open minded, taste in Cinema). But I had a gut feeling this should be worth checking out. Now your review confirmed it for me. Thank you.

  9. Great review, Julia Roberts is sure getting a lot of awards notice at the minute.

  10. Does Meryl Streep ever miss? I liked the line at the Golden Globes about ‘there are still great roles out there for Meryl Streeps over 60’

  11. giorge thomas

    Finally saw this, Tom, and LOVED it! Will never complain about my family again!

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