If you hired Nate Silver to identify and collect every single cliché about the American heartland, plot them out on a graph and divide them into the incidents of a three-act screenplay, the result would be August: Osage County.

The film is part of a new genre invented by Hollywood in its waning days — thespornography.  Celebrated actors are hired apparently with the express promise that they will be allowed to chew the scenery until their gums bleed, with no distracting attempts to tell a coherent story or to create recognizably human characters.  The Master and American Hustle helped define this genre — Meryl Streep’s performance in August: Osage County takes it to new heights of ham.


Streep calls on every ounce of technique she possesses in order to telegraph a simple message, over and over and over again — “Give me my Oscar now.”