The Glass Castle: shattering expectations


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"The Glass Castle" is a memoir about the life of Jeannette Walls' exciting and untraditional childhood.

Hannah Prentice, Memorial Staff Writer

A family of six on the run, an alcoholic father struggling to keep it together and a girl trying to escape her childhood; The Glass Castle is full of intrigue and insight to a lifestyle unfamiliar to the average person.

Having grown up on the move, going from one house to the next before even adjusting to the new environment, Jeannette Walls quickly learned how to fend for herself against the rest of the world.

Originating as a memoir about her childhood, Walls released a cinematic masterpiece about her own childhood that brought me to tears. Everything in this movie was exceptional, even though personally the book was better.

The casting choices were amazing. Brie Larson embodied Walls even better than I pictured her in my mind when reading the book, but by far the most astounding job from the cast came from Woody Harrelson who played Walls’ father, Rex.

Harrelson added a level of emotion to Rex that one cannot sympathize with in the book. Being able to see the pain in his eyes around his mother or the anger when he cannot provide for his family is enough to break viewer’s hearts. Watching him, it is easy to see he is trying to do what he can for his children but the pain of having been raised by an alcoholic, sexually abusive mother is too much.

Along with the wonderful cast, the scoring of the movie added the final touch to move audiences to tears. Scored by Joel P. West, the music flowed exceptionally well from scene to scene and helped add to the emotional intensity.

This film is groundbreaking on its subject matter and gives a new perspective on homelessness in America. It also catalyzes a conversation among people about social topics still relevant today.

I only disliked one aspect in the way they cut out crucial story details from the book. Even though I believe there were some scenes needed to help the story make complete sense, I understand a movie can only go on for so long and sometimes even if they film a scene, it just doesn’t work for the goal of the final cut.

Overall, I would recommend people see The Glass Castle but I would suggest viewers see the movie and then read the book. This might be unusual advice but having read the book first, I think learning new details later while reading is more intriguing than seeing what the directors left out of the movie. Please consider adding The Glass Castle to your list of movies to watch in the near future.

Contact Hannah Prentice at [email protected]