August: Osage County bashes red states and Chekhov

As the film version of August: Osage County finally, mechanically winds down, it reveals playwright Tracy Letts' goal: His unoriginal view of domestic squabbling goes from warmed-over Edward Albee to room-temperature Chekhov in a scene where three adult sisters Barbara, Karen, Ivy (Julia Roberts, Julianne Nicholson, Juliette Lewis) discuss frustrations regarding their gorgon, pill-popping mother Violet (Meryl Streep). It's staged as a classic three sisters confab like in Cries and Whisper but Ingmar Bergman knocked your eyes out, here director John Wells fixates on drab ordinariness as if revealing shattering truth.