Please run from not to this film.
It’s a modern mid-western Alice in Wonderland tale without the dreamy Disney flair. The foul unfiltered Alice character, Julia Roberts, ventures into her prairie Wonderland: Osage County, Oklahoma. Following her white rabbit father, Sam Shepard, down the rabbit hole of dysfunction, addiction, and death, where she meets the Queen of Hearts herself, the former Devil in Prada with undeniable talent and swagger, Meryl Streep. Threatening to bite her daughter’s head off, she verbally rips at the entire cast reducing each one to a flimsy fellow card in her wild deck. Off with their heads.
“Why is a raven like a writing desk?” queries the author Lewis Carroll through the mouth of his Mad Hatter. The riddle has no answer, and neither does the question of why this perfect cast, (including Benedict Cumberbatch who attempted an Oklahoma accent while most native to the US didn’t bother), came together to perform this…everyone’s worst Thanksgiving. Family holidays are the worst, second only to family funerals. August offers both wrapped in tragedy, tied with the bow of summer heat and midwest prairie dust. The sister Tweedles, Dee and Dum, cannot refute incest and prostitution. Nor can the caterpillar stop offering his drug of choice to the littlest and future Alice, played by Indie cutie, little miss Abigail Breslin.
Roberts central, losing her marriage to the smiling Cheshire Cat, Ewan Mcgregor, takes a final step through the looking glass and sees… herself, that she has become her greatest enemy: her own mother, the queen of Osage County.