Grade • C+
DVD • There are lots of family secrets uncovered in “August: Osage County,” but only one real mystery: How did Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts get Oscar nominations for some of the most shrill and overcooked acting in their careers.
Streep plays Violet, the tart-tongued matriarch of an Oklahoma family, whose pill-popping has driven away oldest daughter Barbara (Roberts). When Barbara’s father Beverly (Sam Shepard) disappears and is later found dead, the family reunited for a funeral and a family dinner full of screaming and recriminations.
There are some good low-key performances here, notably Julianna Nicholson as Barbara’s quietly suffering sister Ivy, but they get lost in the sound and fury Streep and Roberts churn up.