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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.

Writers:

Destin Daniel Cretton (screenplay by), Andrew Lanham (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
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2,494 ( 35)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brie Larson ... Jeannette
Woody Harrelson ... Rex
Naomi Watts ... Rose Mary
Ella Anderson ... Young Jeannette
Chandler Head ... Youngest Jeannette
Max Greenfield ... David
Josh Caras ... Brian
Charlie Shotwell ... Young Brian
Iain Armitage ... Youngest Brian
Sarah Snook ... Lori
Sadie Sink ... Young Lori
Olivia Kate Rice ... Youngest Lori
Brigette Lundy-Paine ... Maureen
Shree Crooks ... Young Maureen (as Shree Grace Crooks)
Eden Grace Redfield ... Youngest Maureen
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Storyline

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..

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Home goes wherever we go. See more »

Genres:

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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 August 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Glass Castle See more »

Filming Locations:

Welch, West Virginia, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,678,548, 13 August 2017

Gross USA:

$17,273,059

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$22,088,533
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Atmos | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson appeared in Rampart (2011). See more »

Goofs

When Rex and Jeannette are looking at the stars in the middle of the night, she chooses one and he says it is Venus. Not possible because Venus is only seen in the early morning in the east, or early evening in the west. However this works well with Rex's character and perhaps not a goof but intended. Rex made up stuff all the time. See more »

Quotes

Rex: Rich city folks live in fancy apartments but their air's so polluted they can't even see the stars. We'd have to be out of our minds to trade places with any of them.
See more »


Soundtracks

Cowgirls Groove Too
Written by Bill Gordon and Omar Tavarez
Performed by Bill Gordon Trio
Courtesy of Fervor Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
This film touched me and shows the consequences of alcohol abuse
20 December 2017 | by peterp-450-298716See all my reviews

"I never built the glass castle. No. But it was fun to plan it. "

"The Glass Castle" is the film version of a true story that will baffle and mystify you. A film that balances between a romanticized comedy and a serious drama. It's like an adventurous road-movie in which an apparently normal family travel around as nomads. But, "Apparently normal" is an understatement, because they lead a rather unusual life. And this thanks to Rex, the pater familias of the Walls family (Woody Harrelson). On the one hand he thoroughly hates everything that smells like capitalism. And on the other hand there's also a serious alcohol problem that causes a number of problems. An addicted man with manic-depressive traits who's planning already for years to build a dream house in the most efficient place (an argument that he uses over and over again when they are moving again for the umpteenth time). This realization involves a futuristic glass house. A house probably as fragile as the family structure in which Jeannette (Ella Anderson / Brie Larson) grew up.

Rex Walls is without doubt an intelligent person, but has never used this intelligence in a positive way. Hence the chaotic life with a different destination every other time. From a poor home to spending the night under a starry sky in the desert. Rex and Rose Mary (Naomi Watts) are parents who feel responsible for the welfare of their children, but on the other hand they can not bear that responsibility. Rose Mary is a would-be artist with a hippie look who follows Rex unconditionally and goes along with his illusions. Even though she realizes at certain moments that they aren't exactly leading a normal life, it's still very difficult for her to leave Rex. Sometimes she acts as if she's intoxicated as well.

"The Glass Castle" contains some heavy themes such as raising children, an addiction and the consequences, rebelling against established values in a capitalist community and psychological child abuse. Even though it sometimes feels absurd and light-footed, the whole left an everlasting impression. A family life with well-meaning parents who make everyday life almost impossible. I haven't experienced similar circumstances. But the addiction element is something that touched me personally. It showed in a realistic way how someone's dependency is destructive and how difficult it is to reverse such a process. Despair and guilt were played in a striking way by Woody Harrelson.

Woody Harrelson plays his prominent role in a truly brilliant way. For me this was one of the best acting performances of this versatile actor till now. Brie Larson shows in a realistic way how the older Jeanette struggles with her inner feelings. There was this turnaround moment when she realizes that she doesn't belong to the artificial world of the wealthy people and that the imaginary world of her father, she wanted to escape from so desperately, was the place where she felt at home. Perhaps it's a bit too corny, but at the same time it's really touching. The one who made the most impression, however, was Ella Anderson as the young Jeannette. The interactions between Rex and the young Jeannette were the most beautiful film moments. The father with his changing moods opposite that vulnerable girl whose unconditional love for her father is indestructible.

Even though it's not explicitely about alcohol, I think this is the common thread throughout the film. I'm convinced that alcohol is the structural cause of the totally disrupted family situation and the reason for all kinds of incidents. Rex realizes that his family doesn't get the regular life that they actually deserve because of his drinking problem. And when his favorite daughter asks the ultimate question to quit drinking, there's that pained and guilt-soaked look. Most will see this parental behavior as unheard and irresponsible. But remember that an alcohol addict is trapped in a hard-to-flee compulsion pattern and most of times doesn't have control over his behavior. However, I fear the film isn't a reflection of how the situation was in reality.


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