Friday, 28 March 2014

''Beetlejuice'' (1988 movie)- Review

Directed by: Tim Burton
Released: 1988
Country: United States

Genres: Comedy, Horror, Fantasy

Cast: Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Winona Ryder, Catherine O'Hara, Jeffrey Jones

Rating: 4 out of 5


This is only the second Tim Burton film that I am reviewing for this blog, but I had reviewed several of his films in my previous film review blog. Tim Burton is one of my favorite directors. I just love the dark cinematography, the gothic atmosphere, the dark and dry humor of his films (and I also love the scores by Danny Elfman, who has composed the scores for most Burton films).

''Beetlejuice'' is not really a typical Tim Burton film. Here, there is no Gothic atmosphere, there is no gloomy feeling prevailing. Instead, it is completely a hilarious, absolutely funny film that, though not bearing some of the general Burtonsque features, is definitely one of the funniest films that he has directed. It's also the lightest and goofiest Tim Burton film that I have seen, and there is also a certain amount of warmth that I definitely loved.

Adam (Alec Baldwin) and Barbara (Geena Davis) are a happy couple. When we first see them, their actions instantly give us the impression that they are deeply in love, that their lives are lovely, carefree, beautiful. They are on vacation, and they go happily for a drive... However, a tragedy strikes: they meet an accident, and their car falls into a river.

However, the very next moment, we see that Adam and Barbara have returned to their house, and try to warm themselves in front of a fireplace. Umm, have they actually survived the crash? The very next moment, we get the answer: they can't see their reflection in the mirror... Barbara notices a strange book, and when she points it out to Adam, he reads the title, ''Handbook of the Recently Diseased''. Barbara corrects him; the title is actually ''Handbook of the Recently Deceased''... and that means, they have died, and now they have returned to their house as ghosts. They can't even get out of the house, because when they try to go out, they end up in a strange desert filled with dangerous animals...

The house is soon sold, and a family moves into the house. The family consists of Mr Deetz, Mrs Deetz and their daughter (well, Mrs Deetz's stepdaughter), Lydia, played by a young Winona Ryder. Lydia always dresses in black, in a Gothic way, always dressing as if she is in mourning. It is apparent that she doesn't enjoy her life, and always remains depressed.

Adam and Barbara are really annoyed, because Mrs Deetz is making a lot of changes in the house. They decide to take the help of ''Beetleguise'' (Michael Keaton), a ''bio-exorcist''. However, they are warned that Beetleguise is a real troublemaker, and they decide not to call him, and decide to scare the Deetzes away from the house themselves. But Beetleguise is waiting to be called...

The film was indeed very light and hilarious! While I cannot say that I absolutely loved it, I definitely enjoyed it, very much!!! It kept me laughing (one of my favorite funny scenes is the one where Mrs Deetz and the guests start dancing around the dining table)! There was also a certain amount of warmth that I really appreciated. For example, the relationship between Adam and Barbara is really very touching. Also, the fondness that Barbara develops for Lydia is really very sweet and warm. I really loved the lightness, the humor of this movie. The cinematography and the score is noteworthy as well.

I couldn't really guess what the character of Beetlejuice can actually be called. A comedic villain? I don't think that ''villain'' is actually the word that would suit his character. He is a real troublemaker, that I absolutely agree with, and many of his actions could have had dangerous results, but, after all... I would rather say that he is a comedic troublemaker than a comedic villain. 

This is obviously not my favorite Tim Burton film (my favorite is still ''Big Fish''), but ''Beetlejuice'' is really a hilarious, entertaining funny film, perhaps even one of the lightest films that Burton has ever made!

4 out of 5

Thursday, 20 March 2014

''Sunset Blvd'' (1950 movie)- Review

 Directed by: Billy Wilder
Released: 1950
Country: United States

Genres: Drama, Film noir

Cast: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stronheim, Nancy Olson

Rating: 5 out of 5


Watching ''Sunset Boulevard'' was a unique movie experience. The film has a strange melody: a dark, Gothic atmosphere, a sad tune, a drama, a hauntingly beautiful atmosphere.  Gorgeous cinematography, some unforgettable, excellent performances, a great story presented in an intense way- it is undoubtedly one of the best films I have ever seen.

The film starts showing us police cars running to Sunset Blvd, to a manor, where, in the pool, the dead body of the protagonist, Joe Gillis, is floating. Joe himself starts narrating the film. He tells the audience that in order to what is actually happening, they have to know the whole story, and for this, they have to know what six months ago, from where it had all started...

Joe is (I'm using the present tense, because almost the entire story is presented in a flashback) a screenwriter, but recently, he hasn't had any jobs, and has been suffering from financial crisis. He is threatened that if he is not able to pay some money in the due time, he will lose his car. He tries to earn the money, trying to sell his recent script and trying to borrow some money- but is unsuccessful in doing that. He is then chased by the repossession men, and he ends up in the garage of an old, creepy looking mansion. The mansion looks so deserted that it instantly reminds him of the residence of Mr Havisham of ''Great Expectations''. And then. A servant comes out of the house, and calls him in. Joe, surprised, goes in, and is met by a middle-aged woman. Joe instantly recognizes the woman as Norma Desmond, one of the most famous actresses during the silent era, whose career ended due to the advent of sound films (''talkies''). Norma called Joe in because she had mistakenly thought Joe to be the man who was arranging the burial of her dead pet chimp. As Joe starts leaving, she calls him back, asking him to have a look at something she wrote. She always dreams to return to film industry. She wants to act again, she wants to be the greatest star Norma Desmond again. And for that, she has written her own script, for a film where she has decided that she will play the major role. She asks Joe to edit the script, to polish it, and in return, offers him a huge amount of money. Joe thinks that the script is dreadful, but since he is in urgent need of the money, he admits to do so. Norma asks Joe to stay in the house during the time he will work on the script, and Joe has to agree, reluctantly.

Living in Norma's house, Joe becomes familiar with Norma's life. She still lives in the past, she still thinks that she is the great Norma Desmond, the most famous, the most popular movie star. The only other person in the house is Max, her faithful old servant, who cares a lot for her. She doesn't seem to accept that her time ended twenty years ago. She lives in, and wants to live in the past. Very often, she persuades Joe to watch a film with her--- and those films star herself. Joe becomes really uneasy and feel uncomfortable in Norma's house, and Norma soon becomes overly attached with him, and starts loving him. Joe is absolutely disgusted, thinking that Norma doesn't even think that he might have a life of his own. He quarrels with Norma, and leaves, but when comes to know that Norma attempted suicide, he comes back, and to ensure that she doesn't do any such thing again, he starts living in her house again, the house which he describes as a ''peculiar prison''. Ultimately, Norma's obsessions will have drastic consequences...

Obsession. Sympathy. Sincere love. These three feelings persist throughout the film, through the major characters. What Norma suffers from is obsession. An obsession with the past. An obsession with her past fame. A obsession with herself. An obsession with Joe. And what does Joe experience? Why does he live in Norma's house? At first, he does it because he is badly in need of some money. And then he does it out of pure sympathy for Norma. Does he ''love'' her? Certainly not. Norma is obsessed with the past and with Joe, and if she is brought out from the illusion that her days have ended, she will certainly do something drastic. Joe plays along, pretending to love her deeply, out of sympathy.

And there is Norma's servant and chauffeur, Max von Mayerling, played by Erich von Stroheim. We can understand from his actions and words that he deeply loves Norma, and at one point, his past and identity is revealed, quite like a bolt from the blue. Max sincerely cares for Norma, and doesn't want her to know that her days, her time, her popularity had ended long ago. Norma thinks that she still receives thousands of fan letter and autograph requests per week. This leads Joe to think that Norma is still quite popular, that she has not been entirely forgotten. When he tells this to Max, the latter reveals that there is actually no fan letter; all the letters that arrive are written by Max himself. He has persuaded Norma to believe that she is still loved by the people. His feelings for Norma is sincere and deep; without Norma, his life would be incomplete...

After watching this film, I was so impressed with it that I wanted to know to more about it's background and history. I read about it in several websites, including Wikipedia.  I came to know that this film is actually based on real incidences, real people. It's not directly based on real incidents, but the concept of this film comes from very genuine incidences, many real-life events. After the silent era ended, a lot of silent film actors naturally lost their job. But we will talk about the silent era, when the lives of the silent film actors were grand, extravagant. When the income of the actors increased, many of them started to live in grand, extravagant houses in Sunset Boulevard. Even after their careers of many of them ended due to the advent of ''talkies'', many of them still lived in those grand houses. A famous actress from the silent era, Norma Talmadge, is often said to have been the inspiration for Norma Desmond. However, the life of the actress who played Norma Desmond, Gloria Swanson, is also, in many ways, similar to that of the character. Swanson, too, was a very popular star during the silent era, and when the silent era ended, her film career (well, temporarily) came to an end. She, however, accepted this, and moved on, acting in television and appearing in radio. She also lived in a grand house at Sunset Boulevard. When she was contacted to play Norma in ''Sunset Blvd'', she accepted the role, and made a comeback to the film industry, and gave one of the most powerful performances I have ever come across. Swanson was absolutely perfect, gave an extremely powerful, intense performance as Norma.

I am writing all these history and inspirations for the film because after I read these things in Wikipedia and in Roger Ebert's article, I was really fascinated. So many things are, somehow or other, based on real incidences. Even the character of Max von Mayerling is so similar with the actor who portrayed him, Erich von Stronheim. Several famous personalities from the silent era appear in this film, as themselves, including director Cecille B DeHolme playing a supporting role, and Buster Keaton, Anna Q. Nilsson, Hedda Hopper, and several others, playing themselves. The film is about a long-forgotten silent film star, and the film stars two such actors, Gloria Swanson and Erich von Stronheim, who had such great reputation during the silent era, in two major roles, and also has several silent film personalities playing themselves.

And overall I absolutely loved this film. I loved the atmosphere, I loved the cinematography, I loved the performances, I loved the screenplay, I loved the story. The way William Holden narrates the whole film is really, really impressive, and the way he describes the house during his first night there gives it a really Gothic, dark look. This is certainly not a Gothic film, but the atmospheric touches, cinematography, and the style of Joe's narration make it have quite a Gothic tone. Gloria Swanson's performance is unforgettable, and I think the final scene was really so intense, so powerful. And one word to describe this film? Sad? Emotional? Intense? Powerful? Unforgettable? It will definitely be a combination of all these words: Overwhelming.

5 out of 5

Monday, 17 March 2014

''Frozen'' (2013 movie)- Review

Directed by: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Released: 2013
Country: United States

Genre: Musical, Fantasy, Adventure, Comedy

Rating: 4.5 out of 5


''Frozen'' was indeed a wonderful film! Beautiful visuals, amazing songs and score, a magical, sweet story, and an excellent screenplay- it is certainly one of best films of 2013.

Loosely based on ''The Snow Queen'' by Hans Christian Anderson, ''Frozen'' tells the story of Elsa, a princess who has got the power of creating ice and snow. Whatever she touches turns into ice. One day, while playing with her younger sister, Anna, she unintentionally freezes Anna's brain. However, Anna is revived, and her memories about Elsa's magical power is erased. The King and Queen are advised to keep Elsa away from people, because her power will become stronger with the passage of time. The main doors of the palace are closed in order to conceal Elsa's power from the people, and even Anna is not allowed to meet her. Anna misses playing with Elsa, and after their parent's death, Anna is left all alone, while Elsa remains alone in her closed room.

Years pass; Anna turns into a beautiful, but immature and lively, young woman, and Elsa comes of age, and is crowed as the queen. Anna meets Prince Hans, and falls in love with, and tells Elsa that she wants to marry him. Elsa, however, denies to give them her permission, saying that one can't possibly fall in love with someone he met that very day. Shocked and angry, Anna takes off Elsa's gloves, and the power from Elsa's hands creates ice in that very ballroom, exposing her power to the guests. She then runs away from the palace, knowing that her power will now be publicly known. She is accused of being a ''sorceress''. Elsa runs away, and as she runs, the whole kingdom gets covered by ice, and gets frozen.

Anna thinks that the whole kingdom has got frozen only because of her, because she had taken off Elsa's gloves. She decides to find Elsa and convince her unfreeze the kingdom, and embarks on a adventerous, dangerous journey. And soon she finds three quirky traveling partners: a mountain man who has a business of selling ice (his business isn't running well, as people don't need the ice anymore, as the whole kingdom is now icy), his reindeer, and a very cute, talkative little snowman.

On the other hand, Elsa has made up her mind to use her power for herself, for her life. She doesn't want to stay with constant fear anymore. She creates her own ice palace, on a remote mountaintop, and thinks that this is life that can suit her...

Will Anna be able to find Elsa? And what kind of dangers and adventures will she come across in her journey?

This film was amazing, so sweet, so beautiful, really funny, and really emotionally intense at times! The characters are wonderful. Elsa and Anna are both very strong characters, and Olouf, the snowman, is so cute and some of his lines were really funny! The score was really great, and some of the songs were really memorable (especially ''Let It Go'', which has won the Academy Award for Best Original Song). 

It was a sweet, really memorable, funny and emotional film. I'd highly recommend it to those who like animated films, and also to those who want to watch a sweet and adorable film with a really great story and screenplay.

4.5 out of 5

Friday, 14 March 2014

''Grease'' (1978 movie)- Review

Directed by: Randal Kleiser
Released: 1978
Country: United States

Genres: Musical, Romantic drama

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


Grease stars John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John in the lead roles. Danny (Travolta) and Sandra (Newton-John) meet when they are both spending their summer in a beach. They fall in love, and when summer ends, Sandra has to go back to Australia, but they promise to remain friends.

This is followed by the credits, which are shown with an animated background, which is quite well-made. After the credits, the story shifts to the Rydall High School. Danny is a student there, quite the ''popular guy''. We come to guess from the conversations between Danny and his friends that he has had several girls in his life before, but we also come to know that Danny had sincerely fallen in love with Sandra, and wishes to meet her someday again.

On the other hand, Sandra has also started school at Rydall High. She becomes friends with the girls belonging to the popular ''Pink Ladies'' group. Sandra tells her new friends how she fell in love with a wonderful boy at the beach. When the girls ask her the name of the boy and she replies, the girls are amused. They know about Danny, as he is very popular in their school, and they seem to think that he can never be serious about a relationship. However, they don't tell her that Danny is a student of that very school.

That evening, the girls take Sandra to Danny. Both are extremely surprised and delighted to see each other, but when Danny starts expressing his pleasure to see Sandra, he notices his friends standing behind him, and thinks that his image might be affected if he shows before everybody that he really loves Sandra. He thinks that this will make him look ''uncool''. Danny behaves very rudely with Sandra, leading her to think that Danny is ''fake and phony'', and she angrily leaves.

Over the next few days, Danny tries to reconcile with Sandra, apologizing for his behavior, and Sandra forgives her, and they try to rekindle their relationship, but have to face a few obstacles...

The film also focuses on several supporting characters, and it has several subplots, and two major subplots are about two girls of the Pink Ladies, ''Frenchie'' and Rizzo. Frenchie dreams to be a beautician, and drops out of high school to get into a beauty school, which turns out to be a complete disaster, and she falls into a dilemma about what to do with her life. Rizzo, on the other hand, becomes the subject of whispers and criticism when a rumor spreads that she is pregnant.

I agree that the film was really very entertaining. It really was. And I felt that it was really engrossing and wonderfully presented, a lot of fun. Some of the songs were really wonderful. But the main thing that prevented me from absolutely loving this film was that it drifted away too much from the two central characters. Sure, the main focus is always on the two main characters, but, however, the depth that should have been present in their relationship doesn't seem to be present. Sure, when they are shown together, it looks really sweet, and there is some depth, indeed, and some of the songs are really deep and emotional, but however, I thought that the two lead characters should have spent more screen time together. But, however, it does portray the romance really well, and though it is not that deep, it's really sweet.

John Travolta and Olivia Newton John's performances were really memorable. Especially, Olivia Newton John is so sweet! Travolta is also excellent in his role. There are a lot of important supporting characters. Especially Stockard Channing (as Rizzo), Jeff Conaway (as Kenickie) and Didi Conn (as Frenchie) were really very memorable.

The film had a lot of funny and hilarious moments, several really sweet moments between the protagonists, and several subplots, and it was filled with really wonderful performances. Some of the songs were really memorable (for example, ''Summer Nights'', ''Hopelessly Devoted to You'' and the concluding reconciliation song), but overall I think that the film should have given more depth to the two protagonists, they should have shared more screen time together, but nevertheless, this isn't a film that one can forget in a short time, because it's really entertaining, sweet, and with a lot of wonderful performances, several wonderful songs, and quite a good screenplay. It's definitely not one of the best musical films I have seen, but it's really good and recommended!

3.5 out of 5

Thursday, 13 March 2014

''Cat Among the Pigeons''- Book review

Author: Agatha Christie
Published: 1959

Genre: Novel, Mystery, Crime

Rating: 4 out of 5


''Cat Among the Pigeons'' is about a school, Meadowbanks, one of the most successful boarding school for girls in England, run by Miss Bulstrode. A lot of important people are students in this school, like princesses and members of foreign royal families. A new term starts at the school, and several of the students and teachers feel that something unusual is going on in the school, that there is somebody unwanted present among them, that there is a ''cat among the pigeons'' present in the school. However, nobody can guess who that ''cat'' actually is...

However, things turn serious as two of the teachers are found murdered, and a student is apparently kidnapped...

One of the students, Julia Upjohn, finds out some clues about what might be responsible behind these incidents, and she goes to the famous detective, Hercule Poirot, and asks him to look deeply into the matter.

''Cat Among the Pigeons'' is not one of the best Agatha Christie novels that I have read, but it was certainly a wonderful, suspenseful read, a quick read. Some of the parts were really scary, and some of the suspenseful scenes were really well-written. Hercule Poirot makes a very late appearance in this novel. Before his arrival, the novel develops the incidences, characters, and the mystery. It helps to develop the situation and the atmosphere.

I didn't find it to be a predictable mystery, and overall, the mystery is quite good, it has quite a good cast of characters, and I really liked it.

4 out of 5

Sunday, 9 March 2014

''A Clockwork Orange'' (1971 movie)- Review

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
Released: 1971
Country: United States, United Kingdom

Genres: Crime, Drama, Sci-Fi

Rating: 5 out of 5


The very thing that we see in ''A Clockwork Orange'' is the face of the protagonist, Alex, staring in a creepy way. As the camera zooms out, we see that Alex, along with his friends, is sitting amidst unique statues, and we come to know from Alex's narration that he and his friends spend their evenings involving themselves in ''ultra-violence''. What is ultra-violence? We come to know that very soon.

From the actions of Alex and his friends, we can instantly understand that they are complete sociopaths. They mercilessly beat a drunk old man, and break into the house of a writer, brutally beating him and raping his wife. These first few scenes are so graphic, so disturbing that it instantly makes us hate Alex.

Stanley Kubrick presents ''A Clockwork Orange'' in a wonderful way. Amazing set decorations, scores, disturbing, sometimes terrifying, and with an extremely powerful performance from Malcolm McDowell, this is certainly an unforgettable film.

Alex and his friends spend all their evenings doing such horrible, horrible, horrible things. His parents have absolutely no idea that their son is such a horrible person. Alex has apparently told them that he spends his evenings doing odd jobs, and his parents trust him. He skips school saying that he has pain in the ''gulliver'' (meaning ''head'', it's one of the several slangs used by Alex throughout the film). Alex acts like a boss to his friends, mercilessly beating them if they don't act according to his orders, which makes his friends secretly detest him.

Alex's life changes when he breaks into the health farm, owned by a middle-aged woman, an tries to rape the woman. When the woman tries to defend herself, he kills her, and when trying to escape, his friends attack him with a bottle of milk, and then run away. Alex is arrested, and is sentenced to 14-year imprisonment. Alex tries to impress prison officers, and has a desire to get out of the prison. He has recently heard of a new method of treatment, the ''Ludovico'' treatment, that apparently destroys the criminal impulses of the criminal, and makes sure that he never has to return to prison again. Eventually, Alex manages to impress the Minister of the Interior, who selects Alex to be the subject to the Ludovico treatment. Alex is delighted, thinking that he will never have to go back to prison. However, once the treatment starts, it turns out to be extremely painful and torturous: he is shown films with intense torture scenes, and it is arranged that he can not close his eyelids. 

The view of this treatment? The criminal will become so sickened after viewing these footage that whenever he has any criminal impulses, he will feel sick, and thus he cannot involve in anything criminal. That is, his criminal impulses have not been destroyed; only, he will involuntarily feel sick whenever he wants to do something bad; he has not really turned a ''decent'' person, and nor has his criminal impulses been brought under control; it has only been made sure that he is not able to do any criminal activities

After the end of the cruel treatment, Alex returns to his house, only to discover that his room is now occupied by a lodger who is now like a son to his parents. His parents are not very happy about his return, and ultimately, Alex is compelled to leave the house. And then, all those people whom Alex had once tortured: the old beggar, his friends, and the writer- come back to his life once again, ready to take revenge and Alex has to pay for his past actions...

Here arises a complicated question. Are the audience supposed to feel pity for Alex? The Ludovico treatment was an extremely cruel procedure. It did something quite different from what it promised to do. Sure, the criminal who went through this treatment won't be able to commit any crime again, but his criminal impulse hasn't been destroyed; instead, through a very cruel procedure, it is arranged that the criminal's body will react tremendously, that is, a sickening feeling will grasp him, whenever he has the urge to do anything criminal. But that doesn't destroy the criminal impulse. Does the protagonist, Alex, actually feel any remorse for his deeds? Just after going through such a cruel and painful treatment, he is shunned by the society. The way it is presented, it does arise pity. But then. If we remember all those horrible things Alex did in the past, if we think of the people whose lives he had destroyed, we obviously feel that extreme hatred again. He got what he deserved. Through his actions, his family suffered a lot, and that's the reason his family cannot accept him. The other people, the old man and the writer, had been severely tortured by Alex.

The treatment certainly destroys Alex's life, but does he actually feel any remorse for his past deeds? Apparently, he starts feeling sorry for himself, but isn't this what he deserved? He had tortured so many people, he had destroyed the lives of so many people. By the end of the film, I guess most of the audience will be left with an intense hatred for Alex. Sure, we feel pity a few times for him, but overall, the hatred for him is so strong that the pity will perhaps have no effect.

Malcolm McDowell's performance as Alex is excellent. The screenplay is excellent, and the overall film is really disturbing at times. This is my third Stanley Kubrick film (the two other Kubrick films that I have watched are ''Paths of Glory'' and ''The Shining'') and I guess that he will become one of my favorite directors. ''A Clockwork Orange'' is such a brilliant, engrossing, yet disturbing, an extremely unforgettable film.

5 out of 5


Sunday, 2 March 2014

''Gravity'' and ''August: Osage County''- Short reviews

Gravity (2013 movie)

Directed by: Alfonso Cuaron
Released: 2013
Country: United States

Genre: Sci-Fi, Drama, Thriller

Rating: 5 out of 5

Short review: Among the 2013 films that I have seen, ''Gravity'' is definitely the best. Visually astounding, excellently acted, thrilling, tense, often emotional, and a film having one of the most beautiful endings I've recently come across, this is certainly a great film. The film starts at a fictional space shuttle. The astronauts, including Dr. Stone (played by Sandra Bullock) and Dr. Kowalski (played by George Clooney) are on a mission. Suddenly, they are informed that a chain reaction has caused a cloud of debris in the space, causing the earth to lose much of it's communication,  and very soon, when the debris strikes the shuttle, the only two survivors are Ryan Stone and Dr Kowalski. Stone gets detached, but Kowalski saves her. Dr Kowalski finds a way to get back to the Earth, but for some reasons, when he has detach himself, Dr Stone has carry on and get back to the Earth on her own... 

This film was simply beautiful, with astounding visual effects and beautiful cinematography. The scenes at the space were great, and the views of the earth were extremely beautiful. One of the most beautiful scenes will be those when the capsule descends towards the earth, followed by the scenes set in the Earth. Sandra Bullock's performance was amazing, while George Clooney is also excellent in his role. A beautiful, quite unforgettable film--- definitely recommended!

5 out of 5

August: Osage County (2013 movie)

Directed by: John Wells
Released: 2013
Country: United States

Genre: Drama

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Short review: ''August: Osage County'' absolutely stunned me! It was such a wonderful film, so engrossing, so powerful, absolutely unforgettable! This is a film that I will fondly remember for a long time!

The story revolves around a dysfunctional family. After the suicide of Beverly Weston, his widow, Violet (Meryl Streep) is left alone, and for Beverly's funeral, three generations of family members gather at the house. The family is extremely dysfunctional; they have lives of their own and maintain very little communication with each other. Violet's daughters are Barbara (Julia Roberts), who has recently separated from her husband, Ivy (Julianne Nicholson), who had been taking care of Beverly and Weston even after her sisters moved away, and Karen (Juliette Lewis), who has got a new boyfriend... again. 

Over the course of their stay at the house, a lot of things happen that further contribute to affect their family relationship: old family secrets are revealed, several unexpected things happen...

''August: Osage County'' was an extremely powerful film with an excellent screenplay and a strong cast. All the performances are wonderful; most of the characters remain memorable. With dark humor scattered throughout, this proves to be, ultimately, a sad film dealing with abandonment, loneliness, feeling of being ignored, disappointment, etc. I don't know why this film hasn't been nominated for any major Best Picture awards, but this will definitely be one of my favorite films from 2013.

4.5 out of 4