September 10, 2013 by  

TIFF News, Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts will likely be duking it out at Oscar time for best actress honours as a pill-popping harpy of a mother and her damaged, bitterly defensive daughter in August: Osage County, which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival Monday night.

But that battle can’t match the ones onscreen as secrets revealed, old scores settled and plenty of righteous fury and knock-down-drag-out emotional warfare as the three sisters of the Weston family uneasily gather at their parents’ rural house in the middle of an Oklahoma heat wave following their father’s death.

Director John Wells keeps things moving well, although there are echoes of the stage in Tracy Letts’ screen adaptation of his Pulitzer Prize-winning play.

Streep is Violet, the drug-addicted viper-tongued Weston matriarch and conductor of this rich symphony of emotional destruction. But it’s often just as funny as it is tragic with many comic moments that offer relief from the emotional barrage.

Streep will doubtless be praised for the bravery of her performance, ranting, with her shorn grey hair and rheumy eyes, her lumpy body clad in stained sweats.

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