Review: The Glass Castle
>> SPOILER ALERT <<
Thanks for clicking! Today I’m sharing a book and movie review of the Glass Castle, a memoir by Jeannette Walls turned into a movie, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton. It just so happened that I finished reading the book a few weeks before the movie came out, so I really enjoyed comparing the movie with the book and seeing Walls’ words come to life through the incredible acting of Woody Harrelson, Naomi Watts, Brie Larson, and others.
Both the book and the movie caused me to experience almost every human emotion possible; from ugly crying unstoppably, to laughing at the lovable yet cruel parents; I loved every minute of the movie. Woody Harrelson was especially good in this role – if he doesn’t win some sort of award for his performance, I will be shocked. He played Rex Walls, Jeannette’s dad, who despite his love for her and his undoubtable sense of adventure, couldn’t keep it together long enough to take care of his family. So, he left Jeannette and her siblings Brian, Lori, and Maureen to raise themselves and find a way to survive and ultimately, to escape. I loved how they focused on the complex but loving relationship between Jeannette and Rex, and how despite everything, she still wanted to believe in her dad.
The only thing I didn’t think the movie captured well was Naomi Watts’ character. While I had no problem with her portrayal of Jeannette’s mom, I think that the script writers made her seem more normal than the way she was presented in Walls’ memoir. They left out the parts where she spent her entire paycheck on art supplies or candy bars that she hid and kept to herself even though her children hadn’t eaten for days. Also, the part where Rosemary’s inheritance gives her two free houses but she instead selfishly chooses to make her children squat in abandoned buildings without running water or heat in the winter, was totally omitted but, in my opinion, necessary in understanding why Jeannette had such a hard time getting along with her mom.
Still, both the book and the movie are ones that I would highly recommend- it certainly caused me to realize how lucky I am, and how incredible it was that all the Walls children managed to survive, thrive, and eventually, learn to love their parents for who they could have been instead of who they were.