This week’s movie house adventure transported me to to the darkly comic and daringly dramatic world of John Wells’ ‘August: Osage County’.
A truly powerful adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tracy Letts, August:Osage County is a raw representation of the darker side of family, delivered through an unapologetically non-rose-tinted lens. Sincere and stellar performances by the hugely talented cast are the main focus of this film. The acute development of both central and tributary characters has already pipped the film over the post of multi-accolade nominations, scooping up ‘Ensemble of the Year’, and ‘Best Supporting Actress of the Year’ (Julia Roberts) at the Hollywood Film Festival. Themes of Identity, escapism, dysfunction, fear and apathy interweave the narrative fabric, and converge in the final scene as intensely emotional realisations of the Self and Other are exposed. A clever narrative technique employed by Wells is his use of the subtly recurring soundtrack of Eric Clapton’s ‘Lay Down Sally’, of which the words and melody provide both comic relief and narrative insight at important points along the plot’s trajectory. Bonus points for Mr Wells for also using one of my favourite songs!
A simultaneously lifting but challenging screenplay to watch, its honesty and relatability reward the viewer with much food for thought, and silently coerces one to self-reflect on their own familial relationships and identities. Although a more sinister and austere context than the subject of last week’s review on Alexander Payne’s ‘Nebraska’, Wells has directed a film which I believe has an important place within societal discourse today, and has very beautifully rendered that discourse through the medium of the moving image.
The following photos were taken on my way home, inspired by the short but excellent soundtrack to the movie that includes the above mentioned ‘Lay Down Sally’ (Clapton), Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zero’s ‘Man on Fire’, and finally, ‘The Last Mile Home’, by Kings of Leon. I decided to try and capture moments in the lives of others as they too treaded the cobbles of their last mile home on a mid-week, February evening.