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Review: The Glass Castle

Updated on November 13, 2017
Joseph Lawrence profile image

Joseph Lawrence (25) grew up in the New York area and is a recent college grad in Film Studies. He is a huge film buff and loves horror!

The Glass Castle theatrical poster.
The Glass Castle theatrical poster.

The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle is an American bio-pic drama depicting the life of former gossip columnist Jeannette Walls and her early family life. Destin Daniel Crotton directed and wrote the screenplay for the picture which is also an adaptation of Wall's widely popular 2005 memoir. The cast of the film features Brie Larson, Woody Harrison, and Naomi Watts. Jeannette's background is both sad and awe-inspiring. The film shifts between the present and the past. Their father Rex, is a heavily flawed man and an alcoholic but he's also a hopeless dreamer and uses the notion of a "Glass Castle" to keep his family together.

Brie Larson (Adult Jeannette Walls)
Brie Larson (Adult Jeannette Walls)

Family

The best parts of The Glass Castle is its rawness and portrayal of family. Family isn't perfect and can at times be dysfunctional. The narrative in its entirety is vulnerable and the Wells' family secrets are put out on full display. The good, the bad, and the ugly. For better or worst, the moments of alcoholism, road trips, family secrets, and adventures are all apart of Jeannette's story. Most of all, her story is compelling and a must see or read for anybody.

The Walls' Family
The Walls' Family

Performance

Brie Larson, Woody Harrison, Naomi Watts, along with the film's younger cast do a brilliant job of portraying the Walls' family members. You can feel young Jeannette's emotion when she's forced to deal with her father's alcoholism. The strain of the past as the now successful and adult Jeannette Walls struggles to keep her present life from falling apart. And Woody Harrison's mannerisms and speech are spot on especially when you see Rex's real-life insert towards the end.

Rex Walls (Woody Harrison) and Rose Mary Walls (Naomi Watts).
Rex Walls (Woody Harrison) and Rose Mary Walls (Naomi Watts).

Verdict

This film is not just a bio-pic or a drama, but also an adventure. There are extreme highs and extreme lows. And it is raw in its portrayal of alcoholism and family secrets. Even though the film can be incredibly down at times, the story is fleshed-out and satisfying. The real-life inserts in the film's closing credits are definitely something to look forward to as well. Be sure to give The Glass Castle a watch sometime soon!

The Glass Castle is available on Blu-ray, DVD, and streaming platforms.

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