AFI Fest – Special screening of August: Osage County Premiere – November 8, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Los Angeles, CA, October 17, 2013 – The American Film Institute (AFI) today announced additional Centerpiece Galas and Special Screenings – comprised of a world premiere, award season contenders and highly anticipated independent and international films of the fall – for AFI FEST 2013 presented by Audi.

There will be a red carpet Gala each night of the festival.  The additional Centerpiece Galas are AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY (DIR John Wells) on Friday, November 8; THE LAST EMPEROR 3D (DIR Bernardo Bertolucci) on Sunday, November 10; and the World Premiere of LONE SURVIVOR (DIR Peter Berg) on Tuesday, November 12. All Galas will be presented in the historic TCL Chinese Theatre.

Centerpiece Galas

AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY – In this dramatic comedy with an all-star cast, a crisis reunites the women of an Oklahoma family and reignites their dysfunction. DIR John Wells. SCR Tracy Letts. CAST Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Julianne Nicholson, Juliette Lewis, Dermot Mulroney, Abigail Breslin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Margo Martindale, Sam Shepard. USA.

Friday, November 8, 2013.



Exclusive: ‘August: Osage County’ ensemble to be honored at Hollywood Film Awards

The film, which will be released on Christmas Day, features a star-studded cast that includes Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper and Margo Martindale.


The cast of August: Osage County will receive the Hollywood Ensemble Acting Award at the 17th annual Hollywood Film Awards, the first awards show of the 2013 season, on Oct. 21 at the Beverly Hilton, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

John Wells‘ big-screen adaptation of Tracy Letts‘ Tony- and Puliter Prize-winning play features a star-studded cast, including Meryl StreepJulia RobertsJulianne NicholsonJuliette Lewis,Dermot MulroneyBenedict Cumberbatch,Ewan McGregorChris CooperMargo MartindaleAbigail BreslinSam Shepard and Misty Upham.

The film, which premiered at September’s Toronto International Film Festival and will be released nationwide by The Weinstein Co. on Christmas Day, is a dramedy about intra-family chaos. It revolves around three sisters (Roberts, Lewis and Nicholson) and their significant others (McGregor, Mulroney and Cumberbatch), plus other relatives (Martindale, Cooper and Breslin), who reunite at the Oklahoma home of their mother (Streep) following the death of their father (Shepard), whereupon they air their grievances about how others present at the gathering have caused their lives to become terribly screwed up in one way or another. August‘s producers include George Clooney and Grant Heslov, who also produced last year’s best picture Oscar winner, Argo.

The Hollywood Film Awards are determined by founder and executive director Carlos de Abreu and an advisory committee. De Abreu tells THR, “We are very proud to recognize the ensemble cast of August: Osage County, for their dramatic and outstanding performances.” (Full disclosure: Dick Clark Productions, which shares the same parent company as THR, has an undisclosed investment in the Hollywood Film Awards.)

Previous recipients of the Hollywood Ensemble Acting Award include Crash (2005),Bobby (2006), Hairspray (2007), The Secret Life of Bees (2008), The Social Network(2010), The Help (2011) and Argo (2012). CrashThe Social NetworkThe Help and Argoall went on to score best picture Oscar nominations; Crash and Argo won.

Last month, the Hollywood Film Awards and Dick Clark Productions, which also produce the Golden Globe Awards,  entered into a partnership that could lead to the ceremony being televised in future years. Over the past 10 years, Hollywood Film Awards honorees went on to garner a total of 96 Oscar nominations and 34 Oscars.

Other 2013 honorees who have already been announced include 12 Years a Slave directorSteve McQueen and supporting actress Lupita Nyong’o42‘s supporting actorHarrison Ford;August: Osage County‘s supporting actress Julia RobertsBefore Midnight lead actress/co-screenwriter Julie Delpy, lead actor/co-screenwriter Ethan Hawke and co-screenwriter/director Richard LinklaterBehind the Candelabraproducer Jerry WeintraubCaptain Phillips producer Michael De LucaDallas Buyers Club‘s lead actor Matthew McConaughey and supporting actor Jared Leto;Gravity‘s lead actress Sandra BullockLee Daniels’ The Butler director Lee Daniels;Monsters University‘s director Dan Scanlon and producer Kori Rae; Pacific Rim visual effects supervisor John Knoll; and Prisoners‘ supporting actor Jake Gyllenhaal.

Toronto: “August: Osage County” with Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts gets rare standing ovation

Toronto: The movie adaptation of “August: Osage County” received a rare 10 minute standing ovation last night at Roy  Thomson Hall. The film of Tracey Letts’ Pulitzer Prize winning play stars Meryl Streep as Violet, matriarch a volatile Oklahoma family. The ovation was like something from the Cannes film festival, not usually seen in restrained Canada, and was very disarming for everyone in the cast who was in attendance including Julia Roberts

I know, every time Streep is in a movie people say “Oscar.” But the three time Oscar winner weaves some kind of magic in this movie. You can see it from the moment she appears in half light, looking haggard with spiky short hair to when she pulls on a full, dark wig to play Violet, the pill popping cancer patient with loads of secrets. And yes, this is a comedy and a drama.

Streep was not at last night’s premiere because she starts filming “Into the Woods” this week and has a bad enough cold that she couldn’t travel up from New York with setting back that production. But her name was heard everywhere as the credits rolled and the lights went up.

Most of the large, talented cast was there however: Ewan McGregor, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper, Julianne Nicholson, Juliette Lewis, Dermot Mulroney, and Abigail Breslin among them. And when they got to their party at Soho House–the only party of any interest last night in Toronto– pop star Taylor Swift arrived and joined them. That caused mayhem as you can imagine, when Swift and Roberts posed for pictures together with Harvey Weinstein.

“August: Osage County” was a bit of a surprise for many reasons last night. There had been a lot of talk that the film adaptation hadn’t worked out. That may have come from a teaser trailer that made the film look like a Southern comedy played for yucks. There was also a lot of discussion about how to handle Oscar positioning with Streep and Roberts. Who would be considered lead or supporting?

But once John Wells’s movie unfurled, all became clear. Streep is the star, the quarterback. In one scene taken from the play she sits at the head of a dining room table with this cast all around her. She literally throws “touchdown passes” to each cast member, landing jokes and barbs as they run to the end zone. It’s sort of mesmerizing because she never flags or tires or misses. It’s like watching an acting master class. It’s breathtaking.

So yes, Meryl Streep jumps onto the Best Actress list with Cate Blanchett, Judi Dench and Sandra Bullock. “AOC” becomes an extremely serious contender for Best Picture. It will almost certainly win Best Ensemble at the SAG Awards. Julia Roberts and Chris Cooper will be up for all the supporting awards. Cooper almost steals the show with a scene right out of Letts’s play at the dinner table. Roberts gives her most soulful performance yet, and comes across with a humanity–as one of Violet’s three daughters–that gives the movie anchor while Streep storms on like a hurricane.

PS Kudos also to Margo Martindale, Benedict Cumberbatch and Sam Shepard, who also make this movie an absolute pleasure.


Twin Cities Film Fest 2013 announces first four titles

Julianne Nicholson, Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts in August: Osage County Photo: The Weinstein Co.

Julianne Nicholson, Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts in August: Osage County Photo: The Weinstein Co.

The Twin Cities Film Fest announced a quartet of films in its 2013 lineup and the bar is set impressively high. The 10-day series will host area premieres of prestige-heavy entries from Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, and Idris Elba, and directors Alexander Payne (“The Descendants”) and David Frankel (“The Devil Wears Prada.”) Anyone curious about titles sure to be talked about this awards season should start right here. Most TCFF films will be shown months before their theatrical release.

August: Osage County” is based on playwright Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning tragicomedy of the same name. The piece brings together members of a monumentally dysfunctional family at a funeral, mining melodrama and dark humor from the problems and secrets that emerge. The stellar cast includes Streep, Roberts, Sam Shepard, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Juliette Lewis and Abigail Breslin.  John Wells (“The Company Men”) directs, George Clooney is the producer. View the trailer here.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” follows Nelson Mandela from his village childhood through his opposition to apartheid and 27-year imprisonment through his inauguration as South Africa’s first democratically elected president. Elba (“Pacific Rim”) takes the title role, with Naomie Harris (“Skyfall”) as his wife, Winnie. View the trailer here.

In Payne’s black and white “Nebraska”, Bruce Dern plays a cantankerous farmer convinced he’s won a million-dollar sweepstakes. Will Forte plays his seldom-seen son, who grudgingly consents to drive him across the Midwest to collect his prize. Stacy Keach and Bob Odenkirk co-star. View a clip from the film here.

One Chance” is a musical comedy underdog story based on real events. James Corden plays an aspiring singer who becomes a YouTube sensation after winning a British TV talent show. Also in the cast are Julie Walters (“Mamma Mia!”) and Mackenzie Crook (“Pirates of the Caribbean.”)

TCFF runs from Oct. 17 through Oct. 26. The full schedule of films will be announced in September.

Actor Ewan McGregor urged his mother to put a bet on Meryl Streep winning another OSCAR

ACTOR Ewan McGregor urged his mother to put a bet on Meryl Streep winning another Oscar but a bookie refused to take it.

Ewan McGregor’s mother Carole was refused odds on Meryl Streep winning an Oscar (WENN)

Carole McGregor was mysteriously refused odds on Streep bagging an Academy Award for her role in August: Osage County. MacGregor also stars in the film.

Perthshire-born McGregor, 42, is convinced Streep is heading for her fourth Oscar.

He revealed the bizarre story at a publicity event in London, saying: “I told my mum to go to the bookies and put money on Meryl. She said, ‘I don’t know if you can do that’. I said, just try and you will get amazing odds. But they just wouldn’t give her any odds on it.”

Ewan McGregor, helen mirren, bookies, oscar tip, refuse, August: Osage County, mother

Ewan believes that Meryl Streep may win her fourth Oscar for her latest role (WENN)

The film’s production outfit, The Weinstein Company, have postponed the release of the picture, also starring Julia Roberts, Sam Shepard, Juliette Lewis and Benedict Cumberbatch, to November in the belief this will enhance its chance of awards.

McGregor plays the unfaithful husband of Roberts’ character, whose dysfunctional family is gathering at the home of their cancer-stricken mother, played by Streep.

“I had the best seat in the house for their performances. Meryl is just a great leading lady,” McGregor added.

Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) 2013 Schedule: ‘August: Osage County’ among debuts

Meryl Streep/Julia Roberts’ August: Osage County, Clooney/Bullock’s Gravity, Jackman/Gyllenhaal’s Prisoners among Toronto Fest entries.

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AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY world premiering at #TIFF13

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The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival announced a portion of its lineup on Tuesday morning, with big films like “August: Osage County,”Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” “Gravity” and “12 Years A Slave” making the cut. Bill Condon’s “The Fifth Estate,” about WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange, will open the prestigious film festival. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Assange, with support from Daniel Bruhl, Laura Linney, Anthony Mackie and Stanley Tucci.

More on the 2013 TIFF lineup can be found here. The Toronto International Film Festival runs from Sept. 5 to Sept. 15. Festival organizers said about one-quarter of the films screening were announced on Tuesday.


Festival Press Conference

Film list

August: Osage County

Festival – Gala Presentation

Skip to schedule and film credits

An astounding ensemble cast — Meryl Streep, Sam Shepard, Julia Roberts and Juliette Lewis — star in this adaptation of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play.

IMDb: ‘August: Osage County’ – First release dates

First dates with the release of “August: Osage County” are already out on the IMDb page of the upcoming movie.

UK13 December 2013 (London)
USA – 25 December 2013
UK – 26 December 2013 (limited)
Netherlands – 9 January 2014
UK – 17 January 2014
Russia – 30 January 2014
Faroe Islands – 5 February 2014