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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.
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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.

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