This past weekend my husband and I went to see “The Glass Castle”.
I had seen the preview earlier this summer when I saw “The Big Sick” and I was interested in the story but I was especially interested because of the cast headlined by Academy Award winner Brie Larson and Academy Award nominees Woody Harrelson and Naomi Watts.
The preview of the film doesn’t really touch upon the dark subject matter of this film. The preview largely makes the film seem like it’s about a family of free spirits who just go where the wind takes them. The fact that the preview doesn’t show the whole plot is totally okay with me. So many times previews show so much of the film that it doesn’t feel like it is worth seeing because you already feel like you’ve seen it.
When I say this film is darker than the preview lets on I’m not kidding. The film covers heavy subject matter like alcoholism, poverty, incest, child neglect, emotional abuse, psychological abuse and homelessness.
I have no problems with dark subject matter in fact I prefer it to superhero crap like yet another Spiderman reboot. What I do have a problem with is the whitewashing of the heavy subject matter mentioned above and that’s what this film does in its last twenty minutes. What I do have a problem with in books, films and real life is giving somebody blanket forgiveness just because they are dying and/or they die. We are all going to die, dying doesn’t make you special. Dying just makes you human.
The cast that was my main reason for seeing the film did not disappoint. Brie Larson shows a nice versatility in a role that is pretty different than the role in “Room” that won her an Oscar. Woody Harrelson was a great choice for his role. In the hands of a different actor his character would have been too despicable to watch but Harrelson has enough charisma to add layers to performance.
Naomi Watts also plays a character that is so codependent at times that you can’t stand it but her talent makes her watchable.
I know the film is based on a true story so it isn’t up to me to judge who can or should forgive for what but I will say I would have preferred a different ending that didn’t romantice all the issues I mentioned early. Despite my issues with the end I do recommend the film for the strong performances and the strong first 80% of the film.
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Here is a description:
Justin Gomez and his sister, Terri, have never been close. Separated by nine years and distant in adulthood, Justin and Terri have little in common, except for the love of her three children. In the days before they embark on a road trip to visit the father that once abandoned them and their now deceased mother, both Terri and Justin are dealing with unexpected changes in their lives. Justin surprisingly realizes he might want more than a series of one night stands after a first date goes unexpectedly well. After a lifetime of being a strong type A personality, Terri is forced to confront the reality of the end of her marriage. As they hit the road, with Terri’s children in tow, they find themselves forced to rely on and confide in each other following a devastating event. Confronted with memories from the past and challenges from the present, Terri and Justin must dig deep and unearth the truth about themselves and their parents in order to build a new family based on their love for each other.