The Glass Castle (2017) torrent download

The Glass Castle

2017

Action / Biography / Drama

7.1

Synopsis

A young woman reflects on her unconventional upbringing at the hands of her artsy, nonconformist parents, which sometimes resulted in the family living in poverty. Now engaged to a man who works in finance in New York, she faces criticism from her parents that she's betrayed their values..

Director

Destin Daniel Cretton

Cast

Brie Larson
as Jeannette Walls
Woody Harrelson
as Rex Walls
Chandler Head
as Jeannette Walls (Age 5 and 6)
Naomi Watts
as Rose Mary Walls
Sarah Snook
as Lori Walls
Ella Anderson
as Jeannette Walls (Age 10)

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by martha-adam1 5 /10

Irritatingly 'Hollywood' adaptation of an incredible book

I read the book last week so it was fresh in my mind when I went to see the film, and I know this will sound like another book lover whining "the book was better" but this is absolutely the case. If you haven't read Walls' memoir, it is a beautifully written, honest account of a childhood with parents who were selfish and neglectful to an absurd degree. One of the best things about it is that Walls writes without any self pity and focuses the story on how she and her siblings survived thanks to their resourcefulness despite the ridiculous things her parents did. It is emotional because the reader is left to make their own judgement rather than the author telling us to pity her for how awful it was.

What blows my mind is how the Hollywood misogyny machine managed to make the entire film about the father. Yes the father is a huge part of the story, and the author had a closer relationship with him than some of her siblings, but the film made him out to be some kind of anti-hero. We are directed to see how flawed and imperfect he is in a "yeah he did some bad things but really he was great" kind of way with the result that you come away feeling like he really tried his best and nothing was really his fault. All of this is at the expense of the mother being a developed character - in the film she is a 'battered wife' stereotype, whereas in real life she was just as selfish and neglectful, and as accountable as the father. The memoir gives a variety of instances such as when the children had not eaten for days and found the mother eating from her hoard of chocolate bars; or when the kids found a diamond ring and the mother refused to sell it to pay for food because it could replace the engagement ring the father never got her and her self-esteem was more important!

The resolution of the film was the part that made me the most angry. Brie Larson tearfully tells her husband she's leaving the restaurant (of course she really means leave the marriage), removes her heels and starts running down the road to get to her dying father - what the hell?! Followed by an emotional deathbed reconciliation with the father and the final Thanksgiving scene where Larson sobs "I feel so lucky" before the family toast to the father as if all is forgiven - it was so saccharine it made me want to vomit.

Ultimately the whole film relied on stereotypes - the tortured alcoholic father, the weak mother, Larson as a cold career woman who ultimately decides her dysfunctional-yet-lovable family are more important than money and success. All of this dumbed it down just enough to be just another story of a man doing whatever the hell he wants and ultimately being forgiven in the end because deep down he had a good heart and wiped out all of the parts of the original memoir that made it such a riveting, unforgettable read.

My final gripe is the choice to switch from the child to adult actors during some of the later childhood scenes. Of course this is common and does involve some suspension of disbelief, however it was particularly uncomfortable during the scene in the bar with Robbie. Now then, it's pretty bad that Rex pretty much gives Robbie permission to take his daughter upstairs and do whatever he wants because she can take care of herself. In the film, we're invited to feel sympathetic towards Rex (again) because he's just found out his beloved Mountain Goat is planning to leave him. He's hurt, he's betrayed, so why should he come to her defence right? So she goes upstairs with Robbie, he tries to rape her but she gets away by showing him her "ugly scars". She's played by Larson at this point and she's about to move to NYC, so how old would we imagine she is, late teens? Well folks, here's a revelation for you - SHE WAS THIRTEEN. In real life that wasn't an ill-judged incident brought on by Rex's grief for his abusive mother, no, he deliberately took his 13-year-old daughter to the bar with the express purpose of using her to charm older men so that he win their money. He then does nothing to stop said older men taking his 13-year-old daughter upstairs and it's only at that point that the film and the book line up. But let's remember she was THIRTEEN. What angers me is the fact that the filmmakers decided they wanted to put that scene in (presumably for some kind of shock value) but decided that it was a little too shocking, so we'll water it down by having an adult actor and throwing in more emotional context that makes the father slightly less of an asshole and puts more responsibility on his adult daughter to look after herself. Because if the real story had been shown, we might be a bit too angry with the father to be OK with the nice little deathbed reconciliation. See my problem?

What I will say, is that this film was very well acted, particularly by Larson and Harrelson. I still found myself drawn in and welling up in some of the more emotional scenes, so perhaps if you haven't got the book to compare it to, you may like it. It's only that that makes it a 5 rather than a 2 for me; though I'm still irritated that most of the elements that made the book so good have been cut to satisfy Hollywood's apparently insatiable appetite for stories about middle-aged white men.

Reviewed by proniomj 9 /10

Fabulous

As the sister of someone extremely like Rex, I was disturbed, heart- broken, and reminded of my life growing up with an unpredictable, intelligent, unstable, and sometimes very charming man. His children loved him inexplicably but they are still living with the effects of their tumultuous life.

This movie, in my opinion, was fabulous. It was well paced and the dual story lines of past and current day melded beautifully. All of the acting was superb. Woody Harrelson deserves an Academy Award and all of the child actors were phenomenal. I was especially impressed by Ella Anderson who played young Jeannette. She expressed so clearly her emotions, both love, hurt, and anger at her father and with that I believe she also deserves kudos.

Go see this movie if you enjoy deep, emotional, thought-provoking films.

Reviewed by jmc4769 5 /10

Fails to capture much of what was good about the book

The Glass Castle was one of my favorite books that I've read recently. But unfortunately, the movie fails to capture much of what was good about the book:

1. In the book the story is told from Jeanette's perspective. She is the narrator and the main character. In the movie there is no narrator and you could make the case that the main character is not Jeanette, but her father, Rex.

2. In the book the main focus is on how the children, through their resourcefulness, are able to overcome horrible parenting. The movie devotes some attention to the children's resourcefulness. But the main focus is on the father's child abuse and neglect, which makes the movie much darker than the book.

3. Except in one dramatic scene that occurs near the beginning, the movie places the blame for most of the bad things that happen to the family squarely on the shoulders of Jeanette's father. But in the book Jeanette's mother is almost as responsible for the family's down and out situation. In one memorable scene in the book (missing from the movie), the children, after going hungry for days, find their mother hiding under a blanket eating from her hoard of chocolate bars.

4. Most of the movie takes place after the family moves to West Virginia, which is the most difficult and depressing time period for the family. Almost all of the lighthearted, funny, and enjoyable parts of the book happen when the family is living out west, before they move to West Virginia. But the movie just skims over that part of the story.

5. The movie has a sentimental, "Hollywood" ending which is not true to the more realistic ending in the book.

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