This is the story of a family of strong-willed women who are drawn back to their Midwest family home by the disappearance, then death, of the family patriarch.

Violet Weston (Meryl Streep) is the dysfunctional matriarch who's using a diet of pills and cigarettes to fight mouth cancer.

She lives a largely separate life from husband Beverly (Sam Shepard) but, when he disappears, then is discovered to have committed suicide, the family returns to support their mother.

The arrival of Violet's three daughters and her sister, and their families, soon exposes regrets and recriminations from the dysfunctional lives they fled many years earlier. Eldest daughter Barbara (Julia Roberts) has her own marital problems and the journey home is not one she wants to make. But she knows her role in the family and the need to look out for her mother.

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The death of Beverly opens many barely covered wounds that have festered for many years. There are secrets that some know and that others are affected by.

What is true to say is that no one will leave this family gathering in the same mental space in which they arrived.

August: Osage Country is very much about the dialogue and the acting of a star- studded cast. It is about people, emotions and skeletons that have been neatly hidden in the closet ... until now.