August: Osage County
Picked by Sean O'Connell
On paper, John Wells’ August: Osage County has everything the Academy adores. It’s top-heavy with Oscar royalty, anchored by three-time winner Meryl Streep and 2001 winner Julia Roberts. The powerhouse duo is surrounded by equally competent character actors like Chris Cooper, Sam Shepard, Margo Martindale, Ewan McGregor, Juliette Lewis and the ever-presentBenedict Cumberbatch. There’s talent backing up all that star power. The film’s source material won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2008, and playwright Tracy Letts is handling the screen adaptation … all but guaranteeing that the juiciest elements of the brutal family drama will remain intact. Sight unseen, it appears that all August: Osage County has to do is show up next March and collect all the Oscars. But that’s why we run the race, no? Wells, best known for the TV series E.R., didn’t blow us away with his directorial debut The Company Men. And just because he’s handed all the right ingredients doesn’t mean he’s guaranteed to whip up a delectable meal. If I had to lay money on a movie in August, it would be August, but let’s screen the movie and see if it lives up to expectations.

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