Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Jesse Eisenberg And Kristen Stewart Go On In The Run In Red Band Trailer For 'American Ultra' Watch: Jesse Eisenberg And Kristen Stewart Go On In The Run In Red Band Trailer For 'American Ultra' Tilda Swinton Joins Benedict Cumberbatch In 'Doctor Strange' Tilda Swinton Joins Benedict Cumberbatch In 'Doctor Strange' Watch: Jason Segel Plays David Foster Wallace Opposite Jesse Eisenberg In The First Trailer For ‘The End Of The Tour’ Watch: Jason Segel Plays David Foster Wallace Opposite Jesse Eisenberg In The First Trailer For ‘The End Of The Tour’ The Top 10 Films Of The 2015 Cannes Film Festival The Top 10 Films Of The 2015 Cannes Film Festival 5 Innovative Ways The Michael Fassbender/Marion Cotillard 'Macbeth' Differs From Previous Versions 5 Innovative Ways The Michael Fassbender/Marion Cotillard 'Macbeth' Differs From Previous Versions New ‘Ant-Man’ Photos; Movie May Include More Marvel Cinematic Universe Characters New ‘Ant-Man’ Photos; Movie May Include More Marvel Cinematic Universe Characters Over 30 New 'Jurassic World' Photos, Plus 2 New Clips & Lots Of New TV Spots Over 30 New 'Jurassic World' Photos, Plus 2 New Clips & Lots Of New TV Spots Matt Damon Goes Interstellar Again In New Pics From Ridley Scott's 'The Martian' Matt Damon Goes Interstellar Again In New Pics From Ridley Scott's 'The Martian' Cannes Awards Winners: Jacques Audiard's 'Dheepan' Wins Palme d’Or; Rooney Mara Ties For Best Actress With ‘Carol’ Cannes Awards Winners: Jacques Audiard's 'Dheepan' Wins Palme d’Or; Rooney Mara Ties For Best Actress With ‘Carol’ First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Lonely Island Movie Is Called 'Conner4real,’ Targets Justin Bieber & Katy Perry, Adds Sarah Silverman, Imogen Poots, & More Lonely Island Movie Is Called 'Conner4real,’ Targets Justin Bieber & Katy Perry, Adds Sarah Silverman, Imogen Poots, & More Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen 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 All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

'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