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.