Film Review: The Glass Castle

Director and co-writer Destiny Daniel Cretton’s The Glass Castle is an engaging watch, thanks to its good performances and good storytelling.

Jeanette has an unconventional childhood. As an adult about to introduce her partner to her parents, Jeanette reflects on her upbringing with her eccentric artist mother and her alcoholic father…

Based on Writer Jeanette Walls’s memoirs, The Glass Castle focuses on the unusual childhood of the author, and in particular the relationship she has with her father. The film shows both the positive and negative of Jeanette’s upbringing, and the impact this has on her adult life.

The film commences with Jeanette as an adult in the late 1980s. It then diverges into two main strands; the story of the protagonist’s upbringing, and her current relationship with her family. Her childhood is explored through a series of lengthy flashbacks, at the same time as her present-day story progresses. This style of storytelling works well. Aspects of Jeanette’s childhood are revealed gradually. Some of these are genuinely horrendous, whilst others provide humour or simply a very human experience.

A prevailing theme of the film is the many shades of the characters. The film does not offer easy protagonists and antagonists, instead offering characters that are nuanced and difficult to categorise. A prominent message is that the vast majority of people are neither holy good or bad but sit on a spectrum. Whilst Jeanette’s parents are undoubtedly neglectful, they are not portrayed as villains, but complex characters with their own issues.

Brie Larson delvers a solid performance as the adult Jeanette. Ella Anderson is great as the young version of the character. Woody Harrleson is strong and lively as Rex. He is ably supported by Naomi Watts.

The final third of the film misses the pep of earlier sequences. Nevertheless, The Glass Castle is successful in its depiction of characters who are both frustrating and empathetic.

Previews: The Commuter Trailer, Tomb Raider, More!

Lots to see in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including the brand new The Commuter trailer, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Tomb Raider, and more…

The Commuter Trailer

Here is the brand new The Commuter trailer. The action thriller is about a regular commuter who is forced to find a hidden passenger on his train. The film sees director Jaume Collet-Serra reunite with Liam Neeson following Non-Stop and Unknown. Also starring Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, and Sam Neill, The Commuter launches onto UK screens on 19th January 2018.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Trailer

Here is the new Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle trailer. The film is a new adventure based in the world of Jumanji. The film is about four teenagers who are sucked into the jungle world, and stars Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, and Jack Black. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is set for release on 20th December 2017.

Tomb Raider Trailer

This is the trailer for the new Tomb Raider film, a reboot of the game-set series which starred Angelina Jolie in the early 2000s. Alicia Vikander plays Lara Croft, and the film focuses on the character at the beginning of her career. Also starring Dominic West and Walton Goggins, Tomb Raider is scheduled for release in March 2018.

The Glass Castle Clip

Above is a clip from The Glass Castle. The film is based on the memoirs of Jeannette Walls, focussing on her relationship with her unconventional father. Starring Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, The Glass Castle is out in cinemas on 6th October 2017.

Better Watch Out Trailer

This looks like a lot of fun. Better Watch Out is a Christmas time-set horror comedy about a babysitter who must defend her tween charges from an intruder. The film looks like it has all the ingredients of an entertaining movie, from the trailer above at least. Starring Levi Miller and Olivia DeJonge, Better Watch Out hits UK screens on 8th December 2017.

The LEGO NINJAGO Movie Poster

I was non-plussed about The LEGO NINJAGO Movie but this cat is making it much more appealing. The third LEGO movie, this film is about a group of secret ninja warriors. Featuring the voices of Jackie Chan, Dave Franco, and Justin Theroux, The LEGO NINJAGO Movie is out in UK cinemas on 13th October 2017.