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Review: "The Glass Castle"

by Tori Kimber- Staff Writer
Tue, Sep 12th 2017 08:00 pm
Photo taken from The Glass Castle's official Instagram page
Photo taken from The Glass Castle's official Instagram page

Not many can say they have lived a life like Jeannette Walls’s. Because of her best-selling memoir, we are able to see her story in action. “The Glass Castle” is the theatrical adaption of said memoir. 

In the story, Jeannette, played by Oscar-winner Brie Larson, describes her anything-but-normal family, including her hippie parents, who cared more about themselves and their lifestyle than their own children. The film flashes back between her as a gossip columnist living in New York City with her fiancé in 1989 to her life with her brother, sisters and parents in the 1960s and ‘70s. 

As the film goes on, we learn that the movie isn’t the only thing that bounces back and forth; the family of six are always being forced to move from town to town every month or so with all their belongings in the back or on top of their beat-up station wagon because of their dad, Rex (Woody Harrelson). He isn’t the typical man of the house. He can never keep a steady job and believes that his kids don’t need an education, but rather the only education they need is to see the world as it is. He rants about anything and everything and has big plans that one day they will find the perfect place to build their family’s dream glass castle. 

Rose (Naomi Watts) could be labeled the enabler for letting her kids stay with their father. She is a free-spirited woman who one day hopes to make it big in the painting business. Although that dream doesn’t really come true, she never loses hope. 

In the end, the real story is how Jeannette and her siblings overcame their parents’ mental and physical abuse and were able to escape and do better things for themselves. While the older three siblings were able to do so, the youngest sibling, Maureen (Brigette Lundy- Paine), was not. She was left alone with her parents once the other three moved out, and didn’t have it in her to leave her parents. 

When the family was reunited near the end, Maureen is the only one who is not there because it was finally her time to escape. By the end, when Rex and Jeannette get into a huge fight at a party, she tells him everything she has been holding back and that he never stopped talking and would only let them down. 

The ending is a real tear jerker. Jeannette realizes the life she is living is not the life she wants and realizes that she needs to make changes. The movie concludes with them all sitting at the dinner table in Jeannette’s new house as one big family. The acting was phenomenal and I loved how the director stayed true to the book.