Skip to main content

Discussion on "Glass Castle," at the New Yorker Movie Facebook Club

Kenneth Davidson
THE GLASS CASTLE. Seen this weekend. A strong film with uniformly fine performances all around. Woody Harrelson stands out among the cast. Fingers crossed he's recognized at Oscar time. I didn't read the book, so I can't make comparisons. Comment if you saw it this weekend, with your thoughts.
- - - - -
Patrick McEvoy-Halston I enjoyed the movie. Perhaps to make it easier on audiences, or perhaps owing that it was a "safe zone" in which the director and writer needed to operate to keep their own psychic balance, it creates an unbelievable situation where, after showing how child abuse gets repeated through generations, it has one mostly get off--the kids... are okay. There is one scene where Brie Larson's character Jeanette carries some of the same inanity as her parents, to her partner's shock, but I felt it marginal. Basically, the kids escaped. Braver would have been scenes where she herself shows indications that if she has kids, they themselves won't be entirely spared. In downgraded form, okay, but one way or another she'll be chasing them down the street accusing them of abandoning her as well. But one has little sense of this. 

I think they did a good job of showing just what a miracle it was her dad had as much good as he did possess, though, such strength... enough to mostly detach his children away from the mother who very likely sexually molested him, and even without that, would have had him living scared shitless. One notes that Naomi Watts' character, Rose Mary, is touched on immediately as equally as dysfunctional as Woody Harrelson's Rex -- the burns that "decorate" her body, which are sufficient a sight to be used as a tool to repel sexual molesters, owes to her mom's disinterest in her -- but then there's pull-back, and the focus is upon Rex as the primary problem... Brie has a heart to heart with her mom, being the two sane ones. This caters to our preferences, but takes us away from the reality-facing films like this are ostensibly providing us with. I still like the film. But it's a pity that it requires a counter to do some of the assistance it thinks it has already provided.


Popular posts from this blog

Old Youth

You write about how poverty breeds creativity. You think about how scavenging for wild food gives you the perfect opportunity to slow down, to really appreciate your surroundings. You talk about how frugality is more environmentally sustainable. You pontificate on why creating meals from scratch is cheaper, healthier and deeply satisfying. Then you run out of cooking oil.You love fat. As a child you ate margarine by the spoonful. You didn't know any better. Now you've moved on to more delicious pastures. As a cook you can never resist sneaking in that extra bit of butter, that tablespoonful of olive oil, that dab of bacon grease. You believe that cake is a vessel for frosting, that salad dressing should be two parts oil to one part vinegar, and that packaged low-fat foods are a symptom of the decline of Western civilization. Fat makes food taste good.Under the best of circumstances, you have eight or nine varieties of fat on hand. In ascending order of importance: chicken drip…

Superimposing another "fourth-wall" Deadpool

I'd like to superimpose the fourth-wall breaking Deadpool that I'd like to have seen in the movie. In my version, he'd break out of the action at some point to discuss with us the following:
1) He'd point out that all the trouble the movie goes to to ensure that the lead actress is never seen completely naked—no nipples shown—in this R-rated movie was done so that later when we suddenly see enough strippers' completely bared breasts that we feel that someone was making up for lost time, we feel that a special, strenuous effort has been made to keep her from a certain fate—one the R-rating would even seemed to have called for, necessitated, even, to properly feed the audience expecting something extra for the movie being more dependent on their ticket purchases. That is, protecting the lead actress was done to legitimize thinking of those left casually unprotected as different kinds of women—not as worthy, not as human.   

2) When Wade/Deadpool and Vanessa are excha…

True Detective cont'd

Recently, Rachel Syme wrote this
As the dust settles on the “True Detective” finale, and the adventures of Rust Cohle and Marty Hart fade into the television firmament like the distant stars they found so meaningful, at least one thing is clear: it didn’t quite end the way we wanted it to. There is no doubt that the writer, Nic Pizzolatto, and director, Cary Fukunaga, pulled off a midseason coup, giving us a show in the January doldrums that caused temporary mass insanity. Like one of Rust’s intoxicating philosophical koans about sentient meat, “True Detective” cast a kind of spell over its viewers, convincing them that no matter what it was they were watching it was at the very least something worth the hours of debating, clicking, parsing, and comment-section feuding. Moreover, the gorgeous cinematography depicting Louisiana in the gloaming, the delectable short-anthology format, and the movie-star bona fides made us believe that we were watching something novelistic, even approachi…