1. Tracy Letts wrote the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony-winning Best Play, as well as the film’s screenplay. Not only is Letts a terrific actor (I was privileged to see him give his Tony-winning performance in last year’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), but he’s a fantastic writer (last year’s Killer Joe was one of my favorite films and was deserving of Oscar recognition, but was wrongfully ignored).
2. Meryl Streep is in it. Under normal circumstances, that would be enough. Put Meryl Streep in a movie by herself—better yet, put her on screen for two hours just sleeping—and I’ll be first in line ready to buy that $14 ticket (that’s how much tickets cost in NYC—a shame, I know). But if there’s anything better than Meryl Streep, it’s Streep PLUS these other terrific actors: Benedict Cumberbatch, Ewan McGregor, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper, Margo Martindale, and then some.
3. It’s a comedy/drama, which Letts does so well. You laugh. You cry. What more could you want?
4. It’s a movie based on a play (a Tony winner, no less), and for some reason I tend to love movies based on plays.
5. It’s prime Oscar bait. And I love Oscar bait. If you don’t believe me, consider this: Harvey Weinstein is behind it, it has a December release date, it stars Meryl Streep and an amazing cast, it’s based on a Tony-winning play, and several other reasons mentioned above.
Directed by Emmy winner John Wells (The West Wing), here’s the official synopsis, courtesy of IMDb:
A look at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them.
Release: December 25