“August: Osage County” premiered at the AFI Fest on Friday. While Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts were absent, producers George Clooney, Grant Heslov, and most of the ensemble players attended the festival. The reviews so far focus on the film’s Oscar buzz (and how Meryl and Julia should both be considered as co-leads), but here are some writings that focus on the film. “August: Osage County” releases US theaters on December 25, 2013.

Bob Strauss writes for the Los Angeles Daily News: “All of Streep’s formidable technique, thunderous power and her lightning bolt precise emotional range is deployed in long, delectably disturbing doses as the raging matriarch of a deeply dysfunctional Oklahoma clan. Addicted to painkillers and a life’s worth of resentments, Violet also suffers from mouth cancer — and boy, does she take every advantage of that metaphor she can. The woman says the most awful things to her children, their significant others and briefly-glimpsed husband (Sam Shepard). “I’m just telling the truth” is this mad grandma’s — who could eat Johnny Knoxville for lunch — repeated refrain. The most infuriating, as well as interesting, thing about Violet is that she’s right; nasty and narcotized as her statements can be, they draw real blood because they’re so honest. And so funny.” The Wrap praised Margo Martindale and wrote, “to get the most enjoyment out of “August,” it’s best to think of it less as an adaptation of a Tony Award– and Pulitzer Prize-winning play or as a screen adaptation of playwright Tracy Letts and more like an all-star opportunity for bad behavior, shocking revelations and even a cat fight.”

A first in-depth report from the London press conference for “August: Osage County” has been published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer and features a lot of interesting quotes by Meryl on both “August” and “Into the Woods”, which was filmed at the time of the conference in London. Filming “Into the Woods” in London and promoting “August: Osage County” was putting Meryl Streep in two conflicting moods. “I feel like I should have two heads because I’m so into this music, place, magic that’s ‘Into the Woods,’” said the world’s preeminent actress with a lilt in her voice, exulting in her experience so far in playing The Witch in director Rob Marshall’s adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s musical. She is dressed all in black for this early evening interview at The May Fair Hotel in London. In “August,” coincidentally another adaptation of a play (by Tracy Letts who won a Pulitzer Prize for this), Meryl plays Violet Weston, the acid-tongued, pill-popping matriarch of a bickering family in Oklahoma.

The reason I did [August] was that a very dear friend said to me, ‘You had a great mother. She gave you your appetite for experience, curiosity, sense of humor. Your mother sang in the kitchen and mine hit me. Your mother made you feel you could do anything. Mine made me feel like I couldn’t do anything. You have to do this for me and for all the girls like me who had bad mothers, who made it in spite of that, who got out, and for all the ones who didn’t and to let them know it’s OK to leave that behind.’ She really made a case. I thought, OK, because when you’re a young actor, you think, oh yeah, it’ll be so cool to imagine having cancer and what’s it like to be close to death and then your family hates you…I really want to take that all on.

Meryl also talks about the character of The Witch in Sondheim’s “Into the Woods”.

The metamorphosis in ‘Into the Woods’ is [of] a witch who sets the whole machinery of impossible tasks in motion so she can have her wish, which is to not be ugly. Her mother put a curse on her. It’s very like Violet. Her mother put a curse of ugliness on her because somebody stole the beans, the baker’s father. So her metamorphosis is that Rapunzel, [whom] she loves more than anything in the world, will love her because she’ll be beautiful. Of course, women think that if they’re beautiful, they will be loved. The thing is, you can get your wish and Rapunzel will still hate you. It’s such an interesting problem that Sondheim sets up. Everybody has a wish, everybody gets their wish. That’s just the end of the first act. Afterward, what happens after it all shakes down…it’s an ambitious thing.

The complete article can be read over at the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Two new production stills from the upcoming “August: Osage County” have been added to the image library. One has been added a couple of days ago, the other one has just been sent in by Joan with many thanks. Click the previews to launch the last added pictures. “Osage County” will be screened this November at the Napa Valley and the St. Louis International Film Festival. Edit: Three more pictures have been added to the image library with many thanks to Juha for the heads-up.

Last week, Meryl has attended a press conference for “August: Osage County” in London. You can view pictures in the image library. Many thanks to Lindsey for sending them in.

Paul McCartney’s music video for “Queenie Eye” has been released today and can be streamed below. An array of celebrities, including Jeremy Irons, Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Kate Moss and Tracey Ullman, among others, join McCartney in the video. Meryl is featured in some short scenes in the second half of the video. Additionally, captures from the music video have been added to the image library.

In anticipation of Paul McCartney’s new music video “Queenie Eye” (which premieres tomorrow on VEVO), a behind-the-scenes featurette has been published today, revealing more of the video’s famous guests. Besides Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp, additional “Into the Woods” cast members are featured, including Chris Pine, James Corden and Tracey Ullman. There’s also Meryl’s former co-star Jeremy Irons. The complete featurette can be watched in the video archive. Screencaptures as well as an official on-set picture of Meryl have been added to the image library.

As previously reported, the cast of “August: Osage County” has been honored as Best Enemble cast at the Hollywood Film Awards. Julia Roberts was honored as Best Supporting Actress as well. Unfortunately, Meryl was a no-show at the ceremony, but most of her castmembers attended and took the stage to accept the award. You can watch their speech, held by Chris Cooper and Margo Martindale here.

When Sir Paul McCartney calls, Hollywood answers — as was the case with shooting his new Queenie Eye music video. “I didn’t quite know who would be in it and people started to show up,” said Paul. Those “people” included Meryl Streep, Jude Law, Johnny Depp, Kate Moss and Chris Pine! “It’s turning Abbey Road into a little party zone, which is fine by me,” said Paul. The setting for the video, Abbey Road, is the same studio where Paul McCartney recorded many songs with The Beatles, including their first single, Love Me Do. The Queenie Eye music video will premiere Thursday, October 24 at noon ET on VEVO. The song is featured on New, out now, which marks Paul’s first album of new solo material in six years.