The Glass Castle: Tame Tale of a "Wild Child"

Posted 08/17/2017 1004

Based on a  memoir written by author Jeanette Walls, "The Glass Castle" brings a world of family dysfunction to the forefront. Destin Daniel Cretton directs this true account of a young girl's unconventional up-bringing which leads as the inspiration of the plethora of challenges that plague every dramatic scene of this film.

Brie Larson plays the lead, Jeanette in this film who is engaged to be married to (Max Greenfield) and on the way home from an awkward date night that run into her parents Rose Mary (Naomi Watts) and Rex (Woody Harrelson) who are trash-diving.

Not surprised about this, Jeanette proceeds to flashback at the times of her childhood when her siblings and her family would be forced to leave everything after her father's loss of another job. Her father was an alcoholic and in their most dysfunctional times the family would go hungry. She additionally goes back to a time where she was scalded while cooking hot dogs on the stove.

Jeanette also thinks about all the "good times" that she had while growing up such as Christmas time when they children where allowed to pick a star and especially the dream of one day building : A Glass Castle.

While memories flow and resonate in her mind, Jeanette also finds herself faced with angst when she discovers that her siblings and parents have relocated to New York (The Poverish East Side.) She has moved far beyond (or at least she thinks she has) the days of the past, and has made a posh life for herself in Manhattan as a writer for a gossip column  - she is engaged to be married - although to a total scumbag.

As she sifts through old memories conjured up about the past, she is forced to absorb and accept the things that she has been running away from for so long. She experiences a number of harrowing emotions during these transitions from resentment, rage, depression, love, truth, and yes... hope.

In the end the character is still somewhat impacted by her less than stellar childhood, and the storyline really does have a "messy' ending which proves that even some familiies cannot overcome their demons and what is left are just the peices and fragments of the "good times" to hold on to.

The performances by all of the cast members are dynamic and well-done. Brie Larson does a great job at knocking out the complexities and emotional distress that Jeanette experienced in her real life and Woody Harrelson does amazing at convincing us to be forgivable to the less than likeable alcoholic- side, while allowing the audience to revel in his albeit- pipe dream of building the Glass House.

Hard-core critics will rip this movie apart thread by thread for some of its short-comings in scenery and plot flaws, however - if you are in for a drama that provides you with a non-fantasy stricken perspective of the genuine stark reality of many children's lives, then "The Glass House" certainly delivers just that and it is well worth a watch!

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