August Osage County: 3/5
A fairly good melodrama, let down by some iffy elements. Given that this is a movie where everyone is shouting, it's sort of distracting that in the louder scenes everyone's natural accents get through the cracks.
This is the sort of movie that rides the line between middling and good all the way through, while you wait for a something to happen to push it to either side. Unfortunately, there is one scene in this film that pushes it towards the middling side as it turns the slightly clever subtext into glaringly, insultingly explicit text that undermines the intelligence of the whole thing.
For those of you who have seen the movie, it's when the incestuous sister runs away and shouts that there's no difference between Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep. Julia Roberts then walks in the house and stares at herself in the mirror for a long time. It's like, we get it, broken homes create broken people, but the "daughter turning into her mother" theme doesn't have to be blatantly explained.
The film also plays fast and loose with Streep's character's psyche, as she swings wildly from smart, cutting, vitriolic remarks to babbling incoherence. Really incongruous, and is obviously there to a) serve the plot and b) ensure Streep gets nominations for her performance.