I am now two thirds of the way through January, my designated writing month. I have poured myself onto the page, spent hours tackling the biggest challenge yet for me, and with twenty-four pages typed, I still am not sure where it is going. Will this be a novella, a long short story, a novel in the making maybe? I only know I had a character in my head, and she wanted to speak. So I am giving her voice, and together we are exploring relationships and hardships.
When I heard a little about August, Osage County I knew I really wanted to see this movie for several reasons. The first was it was a movie about family, albeit a dysfunctional one. I wanted to see how the writer handled the family relationships, how he unfolded the dealings among the family unit. I wanted to see how Osage County was portrayed on the big screen, to see the cinematic scenery the film used with the story. And of course, who wouldn’t want to see Meryl Streep work her movie magic taking us to that country of “willing suspension of disbelief”.
Reviewers aren’t always kind to this movie, but I think I would like to watch it again to see if I could detangle all the emotions presented. The family drama went so fast, fighting and cursing all the way, that my mind was in shell shock by the end. All the characters had some kind of secret, addiction, or flaw that the drama unfolded like a soap opera going fast speed. It felt like the story skimmed the surface of the issues, but maybe I was just too slow to comprehend.
I did not like the foul language even though bad words are also a part of life. However in this story’s case, the bad words were used too often. They no longer held shock value or expressed anger. I had to wonder how much meaningful dialogue was left out to accommodate the gutter language. I ignored it when I could; I felt somewhat offended because most people from Midwest Oklahoma don’t talk this way.
In the end, the movie does not shed any light on why one member can ride herd on a whole family. Why is it that certain people in families, in neighborhoods, in work places have the power to annihilate the dreams and comfort of others? I have never understood why some get by with the transgressions they do and why others stand by failing to hold them accountable for their wretched behaviors. In this movie, the mother’s rough childhood was no excuse for the abject meanness she exercised in her family. However, it was a honest portrayal of life when the oldest daughter mimicked her mother’s miserable side.
Views of northern Oklahoma were beautiful without a doubt. DH and I saw roads we had traveled on, saw buildings we had driven by on sunny days. The new building revamping project of Ree Drummond could be seen if one knew what they were looking for. Oh, and the prairie! The beautiful golden autumn grasses and rolling hills…beautiful scenery for prairie lovers!
It will take more pondering to sort out my feelings about the movie. Meanwhile, I must get back to my own work.
A couple of writing ops:
Call for Submissions: Car-Free Poetry Anthology
Poet who has lived for 14 years without a car in Phoenix seeks submissions for a print anthology.
Car-free poems feature people walking, bicycling, riding a subway, bus or train to get around.
For full details and submission guidelines, visit www.carfreepoetry.net Deadline: February 1st
Call for Submissions: Revolution House: Spring 2014Online submissions link: https://revolutionhouse.submittable.com/submit The editors of Revolution House Magazine are currently reading submissions of poetry, nonfiction and graphic stories for issue 4.1, due out Spring 2014. Fiction (both flash and short story) submissions will reopen on February 10.Peruse previous issues and submissions guidelines here http://revolutionhousemag.com/