Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Ryan Gosling To Star In 'Blade Runner 2' Ryan Gosling To Star In 'Blade Runner 2' Watch: New Trailer For 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Flies Into The Galaxy Watch: New Trailer For 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Flies Into The Galaxy Watch: First Teaser Trailer For Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight' Watch: First Teaser Trailer For Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight' 'Macbeth,' Todd Haynes' 'Carol,' Pixar's 'Inside Out' Lead 2015 Cannes Film Festival Line-Up 'Macbeth,' Todd Haynes' 'Carol,' Pixar's 'Inside Out' Lead 2015 Cannes Film Festival Line-Up Watch: Zack Snyder Teases The Full Trailer For ‘Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice' & Upcoming IMAX Event Watch: Zack Snyder Teases The Full Trailer For ‘Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice' & Upcoming IMAX Event Ryan Gosling & Edgar Wright Talk 'Lost River,' Shooting In Detroit, And Advice For First Time Filmmakers Ryan Gosling & Edgar Wright Talk 'Lost River,' Shooting In Detroit, And Advice For First Time Filmmakers Netflix & Marvel's 'Daredevil': The Pros, The Cons, The Verdict Netflix & Marvel's 'Daredevil': The Pros, The Cons, The Verdict Netflix's 'Daredevil' Is An Awesome Achievement And Marvel's Most Graphic & Grounded Effort To Date Netflix's 'Daredevil' Is An Awesome Achievement And Marvel's Most Graphic & Grounded Effort To Date Watch: Action-Packed Footage In 2 New “Avengers: Age of Ultron’ TV Spots, Plus Watch Interviews With The Entire Cast Watch: Action-Packed Footage In 2 New “Avengers: Age of Ultron’ TV Spots, Plus Watch Interviews With The Entire Cast Watch: Trailer For 'The Great Beauty' Director Paolo Sorrentino's 'Youth' Starring Michael Caine & Rachel Weisz Watch: Trailer For 'The Great Beauty' Director Paolo Sorrentino's 'Youth' Starring Michael Caine & Rachel Weisz Joss Whedon Says He's Not Making 'Avengers: Infinity War' Because It's "A Young Man’s Game" Joss Whedon Says He's Not Making 'Avengers: Infinity War' Because It's "A Young Man’s Game" Watch: Take 7 Minutes And Learn The History Of Film Editing Watch: Take 7 Minutes And Learn The History Of Film Editing 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Called "Amazing" And "More Emotional" With "Insane Action" After First Screening 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Called "Amazing" And "More Emotional" With "Insane Action" After First Screening Joss Whedon Calls 'Jurassic World' Clip "70s Era Sexist" Joss Whedon Calls 'Jurassic World' Clip "70s Era Sexist" The 20 Most Anticipated Films Of The 2015 Tribeca Film Festival The 20 Most Anticipated Films Of The 2015 Tribeca Film Festival The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki

'August: Osage County' Ending Still In Flux After TIFF Premiere

Photo of Drew Taylor By Drew Taylor | The Playlist September 11, 2013 at 3:12PM

While we weren't too keen on John Wells' adaptation of Tracey Letts' "August: Osage County" (you can read our review here), that doesn't mean that the film isn't still a heavy Oscar contender, especially with the star wattage of the cast (Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ewan McGregor, the list goes on) and the raw schmoozing power of its producer, Harvey Weinstein. One thing that seems to be very much in the air, though, is the nature of the ending, which was changed at the last minute due to test audience reactions and Weinstein's insistence, but still could go back before the movie's theatrical opening in December. Read on for details of the saga; spoiler warning for those who care about the downbeat conclusion to a Pulitzer Prize-winning play that ran on Broadway for a hundred years.
7
August Osage County

While we weren't too keen on John Wells' adaptation of Tracey Letts' "August: Osage County" (you can read our review here), that doesn't mean that the film isn't still a heavy Oscar contender, especially with the star wattage of the cast (Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ewan McGregor, the list goes on) and the raw schmoozing power of its producer, Harvey Weinstein. One thing that seems to be very much in the air, though, is the nature of the ending, which was changed at the last minute due to test audience reactions and Weinstein's insistence, but could still go back before the movie's theatrical opening in December. Read on for details of the saga; spoiler warning, for those who care about the downbeat conclusion to a Pulitzer Prize-winning play that ran on Broadway for a hundred years.

According to a rundown on Vulture, the original version of the "August: Osage County" stage play ends with matriarch Violet (played by Streep), alone in her home. She has run her entire family out following the death of her husband, including her eldest daughter Barbara (Roberts). It ends on loneliness and solitude. The movie version ends almost exactly the same way, up to a point: Violet tries to put on music after everyone has gone, but it fails. Soon she's calling out to the family members who left her. She's alone. So far so good, right? Well, not so fast: the movie then cuts to Barbara driving away. For a minute and a half it's just Roberts looking like a movie star. This is what passes for a more "optimistic" ending, apparently.

While talking to the Los Angeles Times, Wells admitted he was forced into the "upbeat" ending by poor test scores from a preview audience and Weinstein's insistence. In fact, it's a battle that's still raging, even after the TIFF screening. "I'm not sure I’m OK with doing it that way," director Wells told the Times. "I don't want to say there's anything wrong with the current ending, because there isn't. But it's something we’re still talking about. We don’t open for three months, and it’s possible you’ll see something different."

So the question remains: will it change, or more importantly, can it change? Weinstein is gunning for Oscars, and he knows that a happier film is more likely to get them. This is, after all, the man who secured a win for the frothy "Shakespeare in Love" over the more punishing "Saving Private Ryan" (and more recently got the stuffy "The King's Speech" a win over the chillier, more modern "The Social Network"). As hard as Wells might fight, it's hard not to imagine Weinstein trumping him.


This article is related to: August: Osage County, John Wells, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates