“Glass Castle” Review

The Glass Castle hit the theaters on Aug. 11, 12 years after the publication of the memoir by Jeannette Walls. The movie reproduction followed the story of Jeannette Walls as she grew up on the road with her two parents and four three siblings.

Alternating between an adult Walls trying to compromise her new life as a successful journalist with her free-spirited parents and her childhood experiences, the movie makes a successful portrayal of the complex familial relations in her life.

The movie condenses the information from Jeannette Walls’ memoir primarily by selecting pivotal memories, rather than cutting short a multitude of memories in an attempt to fit in everything. Although this was an effective technique to fill the two hour runtime, it resulted in the omission of several relationships in the book that were important to developing Jeannette’s character. However, this is not to say that the movie was lacking in believable character arcs, as all of the siblings and parents had unique and cohesive relationships. Comparing the movie to the book is an unfair premise either way, as the movie was concise enough to have a complete story of its own.

The actors were well cast, and the younger actors had particularly strong parts, with Ella Anderson and Chandler Head playing Jeannette’s younger and youngest selves. Woody Harrelson, who played the father Rex, did an amazing job at creating a character who had moments that ranged from pure fatherly affection to very dark places.

However, an inconsistency that bothered me throughout the film was the sudden appearance of a Virginian accent in Jeannette’s oldest self, played by Brie Larson. The two children iterations seemed to have little to no accent, then suddenly her adult self did. Overall though, this inconsistency did not detract too much from the movie.

The filmography was well done, electing to use fewer filters than would be in almost any other genre of movie. This resulted in the story, already based on facts, to feel even more real. This, combined with the inclusion of actual footage of the real family during the credits, was very important to the immersive quality of the film.

Overall, the film was very well created. Although some parts were very difficult to watch due to the harsh realities they showed, every scene was worthy of making the cut. By the end of the movie, one of my only complaints was that they did not include enough scenes from Jeannette’s memoir.