Review: ‘The Glass Castle’ film fails to capture book’s values

Natalie Johnson 
Social Media Manager

“The Glass Castle” was released Aug. 11, 2017. The film is based off the memoir by Jeannette Walls that tells the story of her childhood and early adulthood. Photo from Lionsgate Films.

The Glass Castle,” based off of Jeannette Walls memoir, was entertaining but failed to capture the essence of Walls’ childhood.

Walls’ memoir is an energetic yet emotionally tolling book. She tells the story of her life with her kindhearted, artistic but naive mother and intelligent, adventurous and alcoholic father. Throughout her childhood, her family moved to several different states and lived in countless homes. Impoverished and uncomfortable, Walls and her siblings fought to make their lives better.

Their father Rex Walls, played by Woody Harrelson, fosters their imaginations by telling them vivid stories about earth, space, and all of mankind. Rex entertains himself and his kin with his biggest project: the constructing of the Glass Castle, a home specially designed by himself and his children

Walls’ memoir demonstrates the toll of living with unstable parents in a way that the movie failed to live up to. Contrasting the moving reality Walls shares in her memoir, the film romanticizes the Walls’ struggle, and makes their arduous upbringing seem like one big adventure.

Despite its inaccuracies, “The Glass Castle” was an entertaining film. Shot in beautiful locations across the U.S., the screen flashes captivating images. The film moves at a fast past, and is intriguing throughout. Harrelson’s character demonstrated the love Rex Walls showed his children in the book, and plays a convincing role of the exciting, scattered, loving Rex.

Naomi Watts plays the mother, Rose Mary Walls. Watts character is consistent throughout, but did not portray Rose Mary accurate to the book. Her character in the film has lines similar to quotes in the book, but did not deliver them in the same tone they are written in the memoir.

Jeanette, as played by Brie Larson, is levelheaded and powerful , accurate to the way Walls portrays herself in her memoir. Larson, best known for her role as the mother  in “Room”, not only physically resembles young Walls but has a presence in the film that resembles the strength and determination Walls has.

“The Glass Castle” brought in over $16 million in the U.S. It’s a Lionsgate Film and runs two hours and seven minutes.


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Categories: Entertainment

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