Director John Wells' "August: Osage County" is star-studded Oscar bait -- the type of colorful ensemble film that the Academy loves to reward. Even better, it's based on Pulitzer Prize-winning material, Tracy Letts' play of the same name. Though the reviews out of the Toronto Film Festival are mixed at best -- and there's talk about reworking the downbeat ending, there's no doubt that the film will get attention come awards season. There's already talk about Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep going head-to-head for the Best Actress award.
In his review of the film, Eric Kohn wrote that, "After 130 minutes of feuds with only the occasional casual exchange -- a pivotal scene when the trio of sisters discuss their lives stands out merely because nobody ends up yelling at its end -- 'August: Osage County' arrives more or less in the same place where it starts, as a series of fragmentary encounters with tempestuous and conniving victims of self-interest."
As for Streep, Kohn wrote that the actress "remains a sore point at the root of the storyline. From her initial appearance onward, she's an insufferably over-the-top loon. Her eyes constantly bulging and mocking tone undulating wildly, she has the dimensions of a Gollum-like monstrosity out of sync with the subtler performances around her."
Sounds like an over-the-top performance that could appeal to Academy voters.
You can see Streep act curmudgeonly in the latest trailer for the film, which will be released by The Weinstein Company on Christmas day. Check it out below: