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Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Glass Castle (2017)

In 1989 Manhattan, a magazine journalist (Brie Larson) reflects on her childhood and growing up with irresponsible counter culture parents (Woody Harrelson, Naomi Watts). Growing up in poverty, going hungry and the parents skipping town every time the bill collectors are after them. Based on the autobiographical book by Jeannette Walls and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton. I haven't read Walls' non fiction book but I suspect it's richer in detail and complexity than the film we're given. There's a lot to admire in Cretton's film especially the quality of the acting. But Walls' journey to forgiveness of her father (who's an alcoholic abuser) just seems to come so easily in the film. One moment she's outraged and refuses to ever see him again and suddenly we're in an episode of THE WALTONS. It's not so easy to overlook the abuse and near psychotic behavior of Harrelson's father and to a far lesser extent Watts' mother. So when the movie goes all Oprah on us, there's a certain amount of resentment. It's not fair of me to judge a life I've never lived through but it's the film maker's responsibility to get me to empathize. I didn't. Still, there's no denying the emotional power of many of the scenes in the film and it's worth seeing for the actors if nothing else. With Max Greenfield and Ella Anderson and Chandler Head playing the younger versions of Larson. 

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