2013, Cert 15, 121 mins
Please not this performance may contain babies.
Meryl Streep plays Violet Weston in this film adaptation of Tracy Lett’s award-winning Broadway stage play – the cantankerous Oklahoma matriarch who, on becoming a widow, assembles her extended family for the funeral weekend. Her daughters Barbara (Julia Roberts), Ivy (Julianne Nicholson) and Karen (Juliette Lewis) bring along their various partners and children.
Violet is suffering from mouth cancer and constantly self-medicating and Barbara is facing the end of her marriage – yet they may be the least-suffering members of the Weston clan. There’s incest, attempted rape, familial abuse and horrible home cooking to deal with, not to mention the general despair of living in the US in 2007.
‘Julia Roberts is the best she has been in years as the daughter who is both proud and terrified of turning into her mother.’ The Observer
‘As for Chris Cooper, he threatens to steal the film out from under everyone’s noses with yet another quietly commanding performance which suggests untapped depths of anger and remorse.’ The Guardian
‘A vastly enjoyable theatrical banquet, if perhaps not a profound one, is served up in a bit of a rush here, as if they can’t wait to get the next sitting in. But you certainly don’t come away feeling hungry.’ (The Telegraph)
Review by Jane Clucas