When the trailer came out for "The Glass Castle", it looked good, but suspiciously melodramatic. Still, I love the cast, and I remember liking "Short Term 12", so I made sure to check it out.
The narrative of the film definitely has some problems. It seemed a little slow to me. The story was interesting, but I kept thinking to myself, "This isn't over yet?" I feel like part of this issue came with the fact that the story is a little disjointed. It seems as if we are following Jeannette Walls as she is an adult, having flashbacks of her childhood. The movie doesn't necessarily make it look as if these are flashbacks, though, as it will show Walls at one place before the beginning of the next childhood sequence, then cut back to her as an adult the next day. There is also a narrative element added into the mix of Walls's diary, possibly memoir that ended up being the book inspiring the film, that just adds more confusion. I thought that the film succeeded in finding its tone pretty well. There were some parts that were really funny, and there were some parts that were really heartwarming. The protagonist is definitely very well-developed, as is the character of her father. Other characters seem a little half-baked, such as her grandmother, siblings, and boyfriend. It's obvious that the film had to cut out a lot of material from the book, however, these characters sometimes make decisions that end up feeling a little out-of-place.
The cinematography of the film is solid, but not amazing. There are a lot of shots that are aesthetically-pleasing, and seem to have some sort of metaphorical meaning, but that isn't made clear enough. The sound quality actually seemed to have a few issues. There were a few outdoor shots and shots in cars that had a ruffling noise picked up by the microphone. It's possible that one of the speakers was bad in the theater where I saw the film, however, given the fact that I only noticed it in certain scenes, that doesn't seem likely. The acting of the film is great, though. Brie Larson delivers another phenomenal leading performance despite a script that holds her back a bit. Woody Harrelson is great too, but I didn't care for the makeup or digital enhancement that they used to make him look younger. Naomi Watts and Max Greenfield did fine jobs, too.
Overall, I thought that "The Glass Castle" was good, but it wasn't as great as it could have been. The performances are worth the price of admission, though.
The Glass Castle
Big Tuna's Rating: B
How Did I Watch It?: In theaters.
Had I Seen It Before?: No.
Would I Watch It Again?: Maybe.
I am a huge movie fan that wants to tell people about my very varying taste and opinion of film.