The Glass Castle (2017)
Reviewed by: Vedant Kochhar (YATI Volunteer)
The Glass Castle is a film memoir that is based on a true story and is rated 14A. It was released on August 11th 2017. The film stars Brie Larson (Jeannette Walls), Woody Harrelson (Rex), and Naomi Watts (Rose Mary) and many others. It is based on Jeannette Well’s own life story. It is symbolic of a child’s imagination, a father’s inability to provide, and a family’s hope that keeps them alive and happy despite the most difficult circumstances. Throughout the movie, there are scenes which contain inappropriate matter for young children, or have very disturbing images of abuse and injury. I believe the rating is appropriate. The movie shows the life of Jeannette Walls, and her dysfunctional family and their life squatting in different homes across the country. Jeannette has many flashbacks throughout the film which show the hardships she and her siblings faced in their childhood. Hardships which included having an alcoholic father who would use all their savings for alcohol that directly resulted in their inability to purchase food, afford basic necessities, and have a roof over their head.
The movie starts off by showing the life of the mid-20 year old Jeannette Walls working in her newspaper office as a columnist. She reflects on her life and how she and her 3 siblings were forced to take care of themselves and raise each other as their free-spirited and responsibility-averse parents both inspired and inhibited them. Their father, an ex-pilot for the United States Air Force, was a brilliant man who effortlessly taught his children about physics, geology and how to embrace life without fear. But, when he drinks, he became a very destructive and dishonest man. His alcoholism blinded his judgement and as a result, he hurt his entire family in the process. The film was beautifully directed as the audience was able to view the film from Jeannette’s perspective.
The Glass Castle is a remarkable film. It is able to portray many messages to those watching. Viewers are hooked to the film due to the constant change in the setting, and the fast pace of this movie.
Was there smoking in the movie? Yes.
Who was smoking? The main character Rex as well as several non-credited extras were found smoking cigarettes throughout the film.
What was happening in the scene with smoking? Rex would casually smoke cigarettes on a regular basis. However, it was more prominent during days when he was stressed or angry.
What was your reaction to seeing the characters using tobacco? Due to the face that Rex had an alcohol addiction, it just added to the fact that he had an addictive personality and how his substance abuse was used as a way to avoid his responsibilities. It also could be related to his army background as he was an ex-pilot, and smoking was a very common vocation back then. However, while it added to the flaws of his character, it is important that the rating then be adjusted to 18A or R so youth who are viewing the film are not exposed to the dangerous habit.
Did the movie show the real health effects and consequences of tobacco use? No, it did not show the health effects or consequences of tobacco use, but it did show the complications and effects of alcoholism on his body.