I’m inclined to accept John Wells‘ explanation about why August: Osage County (Weinstein Co., 12.25) ends with a shot of Julia Roberts driving down an Oklahoma road in a pickup truck rather than on the isolation of Meryl Streep‘s sharp-tongued matriarch sitting at home with Eric Clapton, which is how the play version ended. In a 9.11.13 L.A. Times story Wells, the film’s director, told Steven Zeitchik that research audiences didn’t like the Streep ending and “were terrified about what happened to [Roberts’ character]…keeping it the way it was in the play was just too alienating to the people the film needed to appeal to,” Wells says. “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.’”