The Glass Castle (2017)
Critic Consensus: The Glass Castle has an affecting real-life story and a hard-working cast in its corner, but they aren't enough to outweigh a fundamentally misguided approach to the material.
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Critic Reviews for The Glass Castle
Woody Harrelson gives a performance of borderline unwatchable hamminess in this really tiresome film, which sentimentally neutralises parental abuse into a supposedly fascinating angel/devil split.
A flinty central turn from Brie Larson and a gregarious yet nonetheless repellent Woody Harrelson are the cornerstones of a family drama about alcoholism and parental abuse that refuses to rest on easy platitudes and psychological certainties.
The film's sentimental instincts jar so awkwardly with its pain that the push for some final uplift feels unmistakably forced.
It's TV-movie-ish in parts, but the actors have a whale of a time.
An emotional family saga peppered with relatable themes.
Audience Reviews for The Glass Castle
The story of a very unusual family plays on two time frames, with the emphasis on the past for quite a while. Harrelson is fantastic, of course, but so are the child actors. There are slow moments, but overall the story remains fascinating, never entirely judging the unconventional parents, always on the fence between failure and deep love. The fact that the pendulum ultimately falls very clearly on one of the two sides makes for a pretty touching ending, too.
Based on a best-selling memoir, The Glass Castle is a compelling character drama about family. As newspaper columnist Jeannette Walls prepares to start a new life with her fiancé she struggles to break free from her homeless parents whose bohemian lifestyle constantly kept them on the move and in poverty throughout her childhood. Starring Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson, and Naomi Watts, the film has a strong cast that gives some really good performances (especial Harrelson). And the script is incredibly well-written; telling parallel stories in the past and present that are both engaging and enhance each other, creating suspense and intrigue. However, the epilogue-ish ending seems forces and kind of counters a lot of the dramatic conflict and character growth. Yet despite its few weaknesses, The Glass Castle is a remarkably touching film.
Interesting true story, but honestly wore it's welcome out halfway through. I cared enough to finish it, but it was 2 hours that felt like 3.
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