In The Glass Castle, Jeanette Walls (then a gossip columnist for MSNBC) told her family’s distinct story, of moving, poverty, and effort to find joy in the darker moments of life. Now, thanks to the direction of Destin Daniel Cretin (Short Term 12), Walls’ story arrives on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD from Lionsgate Media with a top-notch cast.
Brie Larson headlines as Walls, with Woody Harrelson and Naomi Watts as her parents, Rex and Rose Mary. Sara Snook plays Lori, the oldest daughter, while Josh Caras and Bridgette Lundy-Paine play their younger siblings. The tension is often between the awareness Walls has of what her situation is like and what it should be, and Rex and Rose Mary’s inability to provide the necessary (or normal) stability that they should have as parents. Rex’s alcoholism is, as such, a major cause of damage to their family, with highs and lows found in his sobriety and addiction.
In the combo pack, Lionsgate includes some deleted scenes, the scoring of the film, and a conversation with the real-life Walls. That may be the most interesting inclusion for those who’ve explored the memoir already; the featurette on “Memoir to Movie” also provides an understanding for how the film came together.
Overall, the subject matter just doesn’t appear that hopeful. Instead it’s a dark reminder of what can happen when we fail to be who we’re supposed to be, especially as parents, to the detriment of future generations. Thankfully, Walls broke the cycle, and asks us to consider whether we need to break it as well.