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Wednesday 17 July 2019

Osage County ending to change?

Meryl Streep stars in August: Osage County
Meryl Streep stars in August: Osage County

Meryl Streep's new movie August: Osage County might be altered before it arrives in cinemas.

The drama - which stars Meryl as Violet, the pill-popping mother of bitter daughter Barbara, played by fellow Oscar-winner Julia Roberts - premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival this week, and while it has garnered awards buzz it seems some audience members weren't completely happy with the ending.

However, director John Wells told the Los Angeles Times that the ending seen at the festival might not appear in the finished product.

The movie is based on a Tracy Letts play, which ends with Meryl's character sitting alone on the stairs of her house. The film version originally ended in a similar way, but it didn't go down too well with test audiences so an extra scene was added at the end in which Barbara is seen driving away from the house, looking back as if to say goodbye.

John said: "We tested it over and over again and people rebelled in the theatre. They were terrified about what happened to Barbara. They felt like we were hitting them on the head with a hammer.

"I heard it over and over again - to the point that it was, 'Let's see what happens if we put Violet on the steps and then cut to Barbara'."

However, while the new version was better received by test audiences, it might yet be changed back.

The filmmaker said: "I'm not sure I'm OK with doing it that way. 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."

August: Osage County also stars Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Abigail Breslin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliette Lewis and Dermot Mulroney.

It is due to be released in the UK in December.

PA Media

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