(K. Brent Tomer),
REAL LIFE is full of conflicts and dualities. Life, as often imagined by Hollywood, is not, which makes “The Glass Castle” a tricky bit of source material. In her bestselling memoir from 2005, Jeannette Walls recalled her fraught relationship with her father, a whimsical narcissist who both delighted his family with imaginative flights of fancy and terrorised them with alcohol-fuelled fits of rage. He is both hero and villain, a source of tenderness and abuse. The book was a moving meditation on the naivety of youth and the wisdom of age.
Destin Daniel Cretton, the director and co-writer of a new adaptation, tells the story in two timelines. The first is a portrait of a chaotic childhood. When we first meet Jeannette (played marvellously as a youngster by Ella Anderson), she and her siblings believe they are on a glorious adventure helmed by a wise and wondrous captain. Rex (Woody Harrelson) moves his family from town to town without warning—he struggles to hold down a job—and the children are young enough to believe his…Continue reading