The Glass Castle forces an opinion that did not need to be promoted
The Glass castle comes with its disastrously mixed up message, attempting to forgive characters that it has spent the previous 90 minutes damning. It’s a scar on an impressive film that completely disgraces the picture despite its strong positives.
As Jeanette (Brie Larson) gears up to marry her fiance David (Max Greenfield), she realises she must inform her free-spirited parents of her decision. When they take the news badly, Jeanette recounts her childhood with an abusive father in Rex (Woody Harrelson) and a care-free mother in Rose (Naomi Watts), looking deep inside herself to discover who she really is.
It’s powerfully moving, convincing, and it justifies what it’s message in the frequent flashbacks. But overriding that with sentiment and forgiveness will never sit well with an audience that does not need to be invested in the events on screen. The Glass Castle forces an opinion that did not need to be promoted and could just as easily have left the audience to make up their own mind on the Walls’ parenting.
There are a number of strong performances from the large cast including a variety of children, yet it is undoubtedly Woody Harrelson that showcases his skills most impressively. As Rex Walls, he is utterly enthralling, routinely pulling people close to him as quick as he pushes them away. Harrelson has managed to uncover the intricacies of Rex’s character and project them onto the screen with a sense of wonder.
There is far more potential within the story than what is seen in The Glass Castle and it doesn’t receive the justice it deserves. Rex and Rose are incredibly interesting characters, and maintaining a focus away from them, for the most part, was a serious error of judgment and one that has been detrimental to the film’s success.