With many thanks to my friend Alvaro, new scans from 2013 have been added to the image library. There’s Entertainment’s Weekly Fall Preview article on “August: Osage County” as well as a first cover for this year, coming from the Brazilian magazine Lola (March 2013). Enjoy the new scans.
Over the past days, lots of news blips have been released for “August: Osage County”, “Into the Woods” and “The Giver”. First, the Los Angeles Times has interviews director John Wells and broke the news that the ending of the film might be changed for its theatrical release. Be aware that the article spoils both the original ending and the alternative one, so better not read it if you want to see the film un-spoiled (article here). Then, there’s an interview with Harvey Weinstein by The Daily Beast, in which he talks about the process of shooting “August: Osage County” and Meryl in particular.
The process of August: Osage County is an interesting one [...] I started reading it and it was the most incredible dialogue I’d read in a long time, up there with Tennessee Williams. These people were desperate for money, and I think it was $500,000 or something… I wrote the check. The play went on to win the Pulitzer Prize and was a financial success at the box office, and they kept their word and sold us the rights to make it a movie. George Clooney was our biggest competitor, so I thought it was only fair that George produce the movie. Off-set, the cast loved each other. Meryl’s process is one of the most interesting ones. In order to do this role correctly, she was at Costco at two o’clock in the morning shopping like a homeless person. She becomes the role. She lives it. She is it. This is my sixth movie with her, and we’re about to do a seventh, and an eighth.
That being said, with the seventh and eighth film, Weinstein means “Into the Woods” as well as the upcoming “The Giver”, which will both be distributed by the Weinstein Co. BroadwayWorld reports that the first week of shooting in Pinewood Studios has been wrapped and relies on various cast member’s tweets (that’s how news are done today ;-): Filming on the first week of shooting for Rob Marshall’s eagerly awaited stage-to-screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s celebrated fairy tale-themed musical “Into the Woods” starring Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp is now complete and the soundtrack is already nearing completion according to Tweets by cast-members shared this week.
And Deadline has some casting news on “The Giver”: The Weinstein Co.’s lit adaptation The Giver has added 16-year-old Odeya Rush to its cast. The actress, seen in Disney’s The Odd Life of Timothy Green, joins Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, and Brenton Thwaites in the dystopian tale adapted from Lois Lowry’s novel about Jonas (Thwaites), a young man who is chosen to receive memories of life before emotion was wiped from society. Many thanks to Glenn for compiling these latest news.
Days after the film’s world-premiere at the Torono International Film Festival, a second theatrical trailer for “August: Osage County” has been released. It features quite a few new scenes and gives each player a deserving spot. Head over to the video archive to watch the new trailer.
Surprisingly, this trailer is even a bit more lighthearted and cheerful than the first one. Given the film’s darker theme and dysfunctional family setting, one would have guessed a darker trailer as well. Additionally, the new scenes from the trailer have been capped an added to the image library. Since they’re added to the already existing screencaptures album, the new additions start on page three.
The bad news first: Meryl Streep was a no-show at yesterday’s world-premiere of “August: Osage County” at the Toronto International Film Festival. But there are two good news as well. First, the Weinstein Company has put Meryl back in the Best Actress Oscar race (she was previously mentioned to be considered in the supporting category). And second, in the wake of TIFF’s reviews and news on the premiere, new pictures from the film have been released as well.
The reviews range from positive to mixed, but so far everyone seems to agree on Meryl mastering another meaty role. A selection of reviews is below, with many thanks to Glenn for collecting them.
The Hollywood Reporter (September 20, 2013) David Rooney
As Vi, Streep is every bit as mercurial, ferocious and funny as one would expect. Slapping on a brunette wig over a sparse crop of gray when she can be bothered, she careens from needling attacks to sneaky insinuations, from drugged-out incoherence to puddles of self-pity, often punctuating those shifts with a vulgar snort of a laugh. However, like her work in another recent screen adaptation of a Broadway hit, Doubt, she hits all her marks with brilliant technique but brings no element of surprise. As good as Streep is, the chewy part actually might have benefited from a left-field casting choice.
The Guardian (September 10, 2013) Catherine Shoard
Violet is a queen bitch with only the tiniest of chinks, a hybrid of Streep’s imperious Thatcher, Kristin Scott Thomas in Only God Forgives and, in cuddlier moments, Ricky Tomlinson in The Royle Family. Yet for all the sparks, the character can’t quite catch fire in these conditions. Such southern fried frankness might thrill those in the theatre but at the cinema we eat this sort of thing for breakfast.
The Telegraph (September 10, 2013) Tim Robey
A serial bully who fancies herself a “truth-teller”, Violet’s one of Streep’s most vituperative creations, pouring out a stream of invective so poisonous you wonder if the movie will ever quite recover, or succeed in topping it. With her badly chosen black wig and shades, she looks a little like Bob Dylan in a sour mood – there’s not much hair left beneath, because of the chemo she’s been taking to combat oral cancer, an ailment which seems the entirely natural product of letting your mouth emit a toxic spill every time you open it.
Cinema Blend (September 10, 2013) Sean O’Connell
Uniformly, the cast is fantastic, with Streep and Roberts serving as the expected scene-stealers. Streep, per usual, commands our attention. But it’s so much more than “here goes Streep again.” Every time she approaches a new role, she resembles a painter staring at a blank canvas, and she fills it with her inspiration. August is no different.
The Los Angeles Times (September 10, 2013) Glenn Whipp
“August: Osage County” might be the first movie to win more Oscar nominations than rave reviews. The movie, Tracy Letts’ adaptation of his Tony Award-winning play of family dysfunction and warfare, premiered Monday at the Toronto International Film Festival, earning an ovation from the audience (once the house lights were turned on to spotlight the cast members in attendance). Social media immediately lit up with Oscar buzz, which will happen when you have 17-time Oscar nominee Meryl Streep playing Violet, a pill-popping, cancer-stricken monster of a mother. The moment she stumbles on screen, face pale, hair shorn, voice slurred, you can picture academy members reflexively writing her name on their Oscar ballots. This is Acting.
The New York Post (September 10, 2013) Lou Lumenick
Meryl Streep rules as the mother of all dysfunctional screen moms in the long awaited screen adaptation of the Pulitzer-winning play “August: Osage County,” which had its world premiere Monday night at the Toronto International Film Festival ahead of its U.S. opening on Christmas Day. Wearing a black fright wig that scarcely hides the ravages of her chemotherapy for mouth cancer, her matriarch Violet Weston — a profanity-spouting, boozing, pill-popping harridan — terrorizes her three daughters and other kin gathered in her crumbling Oklahoma mansion for the funeral supper following the burial of her long-suffering, alcoholic poet husband (Sam Shepard, who puts in a beautiful cameo appearance at the beginning).
London Evening Standard (September 10, 2013) David Sexton
John Wells (E.R., The West Wing, Shameless) has filmed an adaptation of this powerful play by Letts himself with a stellar cast. Meryl Streep is Violet Weston, the drug-addled, cancer-stricken but still horribly acute and malevolent mother of the family, giving an all-out performance, slurring voice and twisting features, worthy of Elizabeth Taylor in her heyday, if not a nightmarish Edith Evans. Sometimes you think of a crazed Mrs T too. It’s all too easy to imagine this monster being diced up into telling little clips in the awards season.
As “August: Osage County” premieres next week at the Toronto International Film Festival, Benedict Cumberbatch is already there, promoting his other festival entry “The Fifth Estate”, in which he plays Julian Assange. In “August”, Cumberbatch has a supporting part as “Little” Charles – a role he says he was ready “to kill” for because of his love for the play and his admiration for the cast. “That was an amazing [dinner] table to sit around, with Meryl, because all of us were in awe,” he recalled at a panel discussion on Friday. “We just kind of forgot to act in character because we were in astonishment.” In fact, after watching Streep perform one particularly inspiring scene, he could not help but ask her for some advice.
I was about to do this movie,” the British actor explained, referring to The Fifth Estate, in which he portrays WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. “I said, ‘Where do you start [with a character], because I was about to start with [Assange], and obviously I am not Australian. I do not have the same speech pattern as him, or the physical attributes. . . . She was doing this incredible tour de force, playing someone with esophageal cancer who is high on drugs, downers, who is getting drunk at her husband’s wake, who is turning vulnerable into attack into lost into knowing into sexy vampy. The gear shifts were sublime, and I just wondered how she was playing this orchestra of a performance.” Gobsmacked, he asked, “‘Chicken and egg, cart and horse; what [came first with that scene]?’ And she said, ‘I don’t know. I don’t really remember. This was different. This sort of all came at once. What about with you?’” “I said, ‘The fuck if I know.’”
August: Osage County premieres in limited release on Christmas Day in the U.S. Meryl Streep’s latest Oscar campaign, we imagine, will begin soon thereafter. The article was originally posted by Vanity Fair.
Various news outlets have reported on the filming of “Into the Woods”. Rehearsals for the film, which is being directed by Rob Marshall, began about 3 weeks ago at Shepperton Studios (where Guardians of the Galaxy is also filming). Now, according to recent casting calls, it looks like the movie will soon be filming on location in the coastal town of Dover, located in Kent, later this month. They are currently looking for people age 16 to 90 with “easy access to Dover or Canterbury”. BroadwayWorld has more news on the possible filming at Dover Castle. Given the location and its proximity to landmark Dover Castle, it appears Cinderella’s castle as seen onscreen – and as portrayed by Anna Kendrick – may very well have a real-life historical background. And the Belfast Telegraph has an interview with James Corden about rehearsing with Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt: “I’m shooting a film at the moment called Into The Woods with Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp, and we’ve started rehearsing, which is slightly terrifying. I’ve not met Johnny yet. But most of my scenes are with Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt. It’s thrilling, it’s brilliant.” Thanks to Frank and Glenn for collecting these news.
Courtesy Entertainmnent Weekly‘s Fall Preview: Bartesville, Okla., rests on the edge of Osage County, carved by the broad, flat Caney River. It’s a pretty city, clean and polite, and for a brief time last fall, it was home to some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, who all lived together (at Meryl Streep’s suggestion) in a new condo complex tucked behind a car dealership. “I’s step out on my little patio and look over and ‘Oh, there’s Meryl,’” Julia Roberts says, laughing. “I’d look to my left and there’s Ewan McGregor. Someone would say, ‘So, anybody want to run some lines?’” “August: Osage County”, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway play by Tracy Letts, is about a family swirling in a dust storm of dysfunction. The matriarch, Violet Weston (Streep), staggers around a sprawling house in rural Oklahoma, smoking, suffering from mouth cancer, and popping Percocet like peppermints. When her husband (Sam Shepard) vanishes one day, her daughters and their families return to provide support.
Meryl Streep will be heading to Cape Town in October to shoot her new movie, The Giver. Set in a distant future, the book tells of a society in which the entire range of human emotion has been eradicated by removing any trace of history. Only one individual in the society – called “the Giver” – is tasked with remembering the past in case it becomes necessary to make use of it. By this time, shooting for “Into the Woods” has probably wrapped and Meryl gets some time off to attend the Toronto Film Festival in September. Many thanks to Glenn for the heads-up.