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Weinstein Lines Up Oscar Slate, First Reactions to 'August: Osage County,' Starring Streep

Thompson on Hollywood By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood March 19, 2013 at 4:19PM

First reactions are coming in for the Weinsteins' "August: Osage County," an adaptation of Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize-winning play with director John Wells at the helm. TWC production exec Ben Famiglietti told Harvey Weinstein that the 190-page play was "the best writing ever out of Chicago," Weinstein recalled at a Sundance panel. "It was amazing, we invested in the play, which means getting movie rights. It stars Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, is produced by George Clooney and Grant Heslov."
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First reactions are coming in for the Weinsteins' "August: Osage County," an adaptation of Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize-winning play with director John Wells at the helm. TWC production exec Ben Famiglietti told Harvey Weinstein that the 190-page play was "the best writing ever out of Chicago," Weinstein recalled at a Sundance panel. "It was amazing, we invested in the play, which means getting movie rights. It stars Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, is produced by George Clooney and Grant Heslov."

Given the cast and distributor, many Tweeters are already predicting Oscar chances. Below, a look at what the early viewers are saying, and a recap of the Weinstein titles we know are hitting theaters in 2013.

A Tumblr user wrote that the film was "incredible" and "that every actor killed it." Some Tweeters shared this enthusiasm, while others were not impressed, calling it "The Lovely Bones" of this year.

August: Osage County tweets

Here's the Weinsteins' awards calendar to date (assuming they also pick up more films at Cannes and in months to come):

  • Aussie fest favorite "The Sapphires," a true story about an all-girl Aboriginal pop band who played Vietnam in 1968, features an especially strong Chris O'Dowd as the band's hard-drinking manager (March 22).
  • Cannes-bound Ryan Coogler's Sundance audience and grand jury award-winner "Fruitvale Station," based on the true story of Oscar Grant, is also a long-shot for awards consideration. Michael B. Jordan and Octavia Spencer are getting rave reviews, and it's a gut-wrenching tearjerker in the "precious" tradition (July 26).
  • French "Haute Cuisine," is a portrait of Provence cook Daniele Delpeuch (Catherine Frot), who was French president Francois Mitterand's country chef. (August 16). Trailer below.
  • Shane Salerno's documentary "Salinger" digs into the reclusive author's life and works (September 16).
  • Lee Daniels' "The Butler," starring Forrest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Terrence Howard and John Cusack and Jane Fonda, wears its Oscar hopes on its sleeve (October 18, wide).
  • "August: Osage County," which stars Oscar perennial Streep along with Roberts, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ewan McGregor, has a prime awards-season release date (November 8, limited).
  • Justin Chadwick's Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, written by William Nicholson, stars Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela and "Skyfall"‘s Naomie Harris as Winnie Mandela. (November 29, limited)
  • Olivier Dahan's "Grace of Monaco" stars Nicole Kidman as the Hollywood star who married Prince Rainier III of Monaco (Tim Roth). (December 27, limited)
  •  "One Chance," directed by David Frankel ("Hope Springs"), stars Tony-winner James Corden as Welsh steel mill worker Paul Potts, who was catapulted to fame and fortune as an opera singer following his success on Britain's Got Talent. Julie Walters and Colm Meany co-star. "This is not a bullshit fairy tale," says Weinstein. "It's gritty, a great cast, it's grounded." (date TBD)


This article is related to: Awards, Awards, Weinsteins, The Weinstein Company, Meryl Streep, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Julia Roberts


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.