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The Glass Castle (2017)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 11 August 2017 (USA)
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A young girl comes of age in a dysfunctional family of nonconformist nomads with a mother who's an eccentric artist and an alcoholic father who would stir the children's imagination with hope as a distraction to their poverty.

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A young girl comes of age in a dysfunctional family of nonconformist nomads with a mother who's an eccentric artist and an alcoholic father who would stir the children's imagination with hope as a distraction to their poverty.

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woman | See All (1) »

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Home goes wherever we go.

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Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content involving family dysfunction, and for some language and smoking | See all certifications »
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11 August 2017 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El castillo de cristal  »

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Opening Weekend:

$4,678,548 (USA) (11 August 2017)

Gross:

$9,705,840 (USA) (18 August 2017)
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Based on a true story about a family on the run from the government, often hiding in small towns, living in poverty See more »

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Dark and intriguing family drama with another tour de force performance by Woody Harrelson.
16 August 2017 | by See all my reviews

Based on a true story about a family on the run from the government, often hiding in small towns and living in poverty. The central character is Jeannette (Brie Larson), oldest of four siblings, but the story's really about their brilliant but tormented father (Woody Harrelson) who's the main reason the family can't settle down and, even worse, the children often have to take care of themselves. Also starring, Naomi Watts as the artistic but equally careless mother. I am a bit surprised by the low scores the movie has received – 5.8 by Metacritic users and 56 by critics, 49% by Rotten Tomatoes critics. I felt that „The Glass Castle" is a superb family drama, ensemble movie, and character study, not to mention one of the more enjoyable cinema experiences I've had recently, despite grim topics explored. The 127 minutes fly by, because you can't help but be mesmerized by the tour de force performance Woody Harrelson has to offer. You could say he's offering his usual but this can't be a bad thing if the result is acting so powerful as Harrelson has been known for at least 10 years – mixing brutality with tenderness, good spirits and humor with sharpness and undeniably strong presence, thus being able to steal or own most scenes he appears in. The man's been nominated for Oscar twice already (1996's „The People vs. Larry Flint" and 2009's „The Messenger") but this is the time he can't be ignored anymore by the American Film Academy… can he? This sure feels like a greatest hits of what Harrelson has to give as a thespian, and he's dedicated to bring out every nuance his intriguing character has to offer. If he's not nominated the next year, there's no justice in the world anymore! The cast is actually really good all around, bringing the wide-ranging family dynamics to screen in subtle but very moving and real way. Even Watts as a loyal wife is mentionworthy, in a role which often turns out too thin and decorative. Especially for her after having had enough such petty roles already. „The Good Castle" is a great movie for memorable female roles altogether. Brie Larson reminds us once again why she's one of the most interesting and able actresses of her generation. She always plays the second fiddle to Harrelson but she has an intriguing character as well, able to display both fragility and strength – an Oscar nom for her, too, perhaps? Also, Ella Anderson as the younger version of the oldest sister is very compelling, offering one of the most memorable child performances of recent times. Beside all the quality acting, „The Glass Castle" comes across as interesting social commentary about how much and how exactly the parents should support their offspring to help them become resourceful and resilient members of future society. Sure, the Walls family can be a sobering reminder of how bad some kids have it, which also influences their future potential chances and successes. But in a way, their methods are also a refreshing antidote to excessive and needless pampering widespread today, which is dangerous in the long run, because the minions grow up to become useless burden with a lots of false sense of entitlement. All's not great, though. The ending gets unnecessarily mushy and kills some of the charm the movie had before. It has garnered its fair share of criticisms. But it's not a death blow to nullify all the effort that has gone into otherwise a very fine experience. I almost wish it was a longer story, I enjoyed it so much. Following 2013's acclaimed indie drama „Short Term 12", this is Larson's second collaboration with the director Destin Daniel Cretton. She and Woody Harrelson also both starred in 2011's mediocre thriller/drama „Rampart". "The Glass Castle" may have turned out a very different movie with the original cast choices staying intact. Larson came to replace Jennifer Lawrence, Harrelson and Watts to replace Mark Ruffalo and Clare Danes. But in any case, it's a grim and noteworthy drama, and a real actors' movie, ready to showcase their talents whoever's filling the roles. Resulting in one of my favorite movies of 2017 thus far.


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