The Castle of Glass Destin Daniel Cretton | Review


Published on Dec 07, 2018


Before seeing Captain Marvel in the sequel to Venom, respectively, in the role of Carol Danvers, and the terrifying villain Carnage, Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson play to make the family more or less cheerful (but dysfunctional to the nth power), in The Castle of Glass, the new film that Destin Daniel Cretton, which already in 2013 had done good things with Short Term 12, always with the Larson in the starring role.

Together with them, in this adaptation of the famous best-selling Jeannette Walls, even the two-times academy award nominee Naomi Watts in the role of Rose, the wife of Rex (Harrelson) and mother of the protagonist (Larson): Cretton almost always manages to make it exciting is the dramatic and inspiring true story of the Walls, with a slight drop of pace, and some repetitiveness, that as the grains of dust hidden under the carpet are well hidden by the performance exceptionally powerful of the three actors, with Harrelson and the Watts version of the hippy bar bohemian voluntarily poor and Larson in the uncomfortable role of the second of the four sons that the two squinternati parents have forced a life of peripatetic and nomadic.

At the centre of the story, there will always be the character of Jeannette, both in the adult and in various other stages of life, a true planet around which revolve a round all the other characters (the parents in the first place, but also the two sisters, brother and boyfriend, the latter more sacrificed in the characterization and development), in a continuous coming and going between the present and the past with the set up that handles well, so much the flashback as a storytelling of Cretton.

Starting from the autobiography of Jeannette, Cretton and his co-screenwriter Andrew Lanham, standing between the woman and the father figure in order to understand the relationship of ambivalence, love, and misunderstandings: the man, the shrewd and brilliant (“the person the most intelligent I know,” tells his daughter, with a touch of regret) it sticks to the bottle with the same vigor with which he gives against capitalism, environmental degradation, racism, the health care system, and in general, to the hypocrisy of the society in all its forms: sometimes it is a father incredibly tender, which gives the stars and the planets to the children, and telling wonderful stories on facts known only to people, extraordinarily form and curious, while the other is simply a drunkard and violent by the ways crude and appallingly tyrannical.
Many of the family dynamics in the course of a history that covers a time-span very wide, from the end of the ’60s and the early ’90s – you lose or are voluntarily abandoning, with the plot from the story veers into the realm of the study of character of her main characters. you lose while the plot veers in the realm of study of the character. Regardless of imbalances and defects, however, The Castle of Glass is a good balance between feeling and reflection, and it is difficult not to become attached to the family Walls.

Especially thanks to Cretton, that never degenerates into the typical error of these stories focused on the nomadic volunteer. Typically, there are two ways to tell these stories and these characters, and as in all things there is one wrong and one right: the wrong one, in addition to be pedantic, it helps to raise a wall between the viewer and the protagonist, or because the character is too stupid to be credible (Into the Wild) or because they are too arrogant (Captain Fantastic), while the second works because the spectator and the protagonist is approaching, stories like Red Crow You will Not have My Scalp, or even the recent (and most beautiful) Without Leaving a Trace, we tell the story of people who live on the margins of society, not for a poorly placed sense of superiority, snobbishness or fantastical belief of the new age, but because that company the fear, they are terrified, have demons from which to escape, and shame to keep hidden.

And so it is for the alcoholic father of Jeannette: she has chosen that lifestyle not because he considers better than the one that lead to normal people, but because it believes it is the only one that deserves it.

The character of Jane, forced to take on traits of the parental right from a very tender age – to compensate for the lack of mom and dad in taking care of her younger brothers – is enhanced not only by the Larson, but also by the interpretations exceptionally empathic Chandler's Head (Jeannette at the age of eight years) and Ella Anderson (Jeanette at the age of eleven years): everything is told from his point of view, and consequently you can forgive the film the many oversights in relation to the other brothers, that the better they are painted as mere details in the background of the self-portrait of the protagonist, while the worst are truncated so awkward: for example, it is very nice as you try to analyze the emotional state of the youngest sister, Maureen (Brigitte Lundy-Paine), but that sub-plot, which perhaps would have deserved a film to itself, there is only alluded to, and the proof of the actress seemed to be contracted.

But, in general, The Castle of Glass proceeds with a smooth, rather firm, moving from era to era as the Walls with their camps. Brett Pawlak, already dop of Short Term 12, seems to be particularly in tune with Cretton, and the same applies to Nat Sanders, who in the Moonlight had given evidence of knowing how to navigate between lines in different time. All aspects of the installation and film work in sync with each other and are always at the service of the state of mind of the protagonist, with the scenes of Sharon Seymour, and emphasize the sentiments with the degree of chaos of the context.

The problem is, if anything, just this constant need to display their symbols and sub-texts, this is not required need to make explicit the implicit, depriving it thus of that primordial force that otherwise would have had. But in spite of this never comes to break the castle of glass Castle of Glass, remaining until the end always clear, genuine, in school, in a positive sense.

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