The Glass Castle (2017)

  • Time: 127 min
  • Genre: Biography | Drama
  • Director: Destin Cretton
  • Cast: Brie Larson, Naomi Watts, Woody Harrelson


A young girl comes of age in a dysfunctional family of nonconformist nomads with a mother who’s an eccentric artist and an alcoholic father who would stir the children’s imagination with hope as a distraction to their poverty.

One review

  • The Glass Castle is a good movie. It has a lot to like about it, both technically and acting. My problem was that I spent too much time thinking I’d seen the various scenes in other movies. The film doesn’t have an original approach and comes off like the scripts of Captain Fantastic and The Great Santini were taped together creating a family of three girls and one boy with a domineering father.
    It is a true story based on a book written by one daughter and all of this is reinforced with pictures of the real people during the credits. I still had a “been there/ seen that” feeling. There might have been ways to give the story a different perspective, but then it probably wouldn’t have been true to the book.
    The screenplay by Destin Daniel Cretton and Andrew Lanham is very well written. It shifts between the past and the present smoothly and the movie builds very nicely. The end is predictable, but if the ending weren’t, there we would have been left with something that wasn’t explained. The director might be part of the problem because it’s Cretton again. More often than not, whenever the director is also the writer, there are problems. The same story can be told from an different angle and be just as effective. This one, no matter how well it is done, still looks and sounds like an echo.
    There is absolutely no arguing about the acting. It is excellent from everyone. Woody Harrelson plays Rex, the alcoholic father, and he is completely believable no matter what mood the character is in. Naomi Watts plays the mother, Rose Mary, who is an enabler and not as sympathetic a character but equally believable. There are three different Jeanettes depending on age, but the youngest, Chandler Head, may just be the best. Brie Larson plays the grown up Jeanette and does a very good job.
    Also in the cast is Max Greenfield as the grown Jeanette’s fiancée. He does a good job but really isn’t asked to do that much. Robin Bartlett plays Erma, Rex’s mother, and Bartlett’s performance is so good that you can see where all of Rex’s behavior has come from.
    I give The Glass Castle 4 amateur paintings out of 5. Again, it’s not the quality I find so difficult to accept, but that we have seen the dysfunctional family over and over again. It’s not that the story isn’t worth telling, but a new way to tell would have gone a long way.

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