Based on Jeannette Walls’ highly acclaimed and best-selling memoir, The Glass Castle follows the successful writer’s life as she reflects on the unconventional and frequently impoverished upbringing she and her siblings experienced while growing up with their chaotic and dysfunctional, but ultimately loving parents.
Along with her siblings Lori (Sarah Snook, The Dressmaker), Brian (Iain Armitage, Captain Fantastic‘s Charlie Shotwell, and Josh Caras), and Maureen (Eden Grace Redfield, Captain Fantastic’s Shree Crooks, and Brigette Lundy-Paine), Jeannette (Chandler Head, Ella Anderson, and Room‘s Brie Larson) leads a non-traditional but tight-knit family life with her parents Rex (Woody Harrelson, The Edge of Seventeen, No Country for Old Men) and Rose Mary (Naomi Watts, While We’re Young, Birdman). Embracing a life of adventure and self-directed learning, Rex and Rose Mary move their family frequently around to different cities in Arizona and California. However, as their children grow older and more aware of the debt and broken relationships chasing their parents from place to place, the wonder of their nomadic lifestyle begins to fade.
With their family life growing increasingly unstable, due in large part to Rex’s alcoholism and inability to maintain meaningful work, Jeannette and her siblings begin to imagine a more traditional and independent life of their own, away from their parents’ chaotic influence.
At once adventurous and heartfelt, The Glass Castle tests the strength of family bonds against individual ambitions and identities, and explores the complexities of negotiating parent-child relationships as children mature into adults. Deftly adapted and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, the emotional resonance of Jeannette Walls’ widely loved memoir is unmistakably present in its long-awaited film adaptation.
“Reflective and cumulatively poignant, Destin Cretton’s The Glass Castle lays bare the utmost truth about families: You will eventually morph into your parents.” (Tomris Laffly, Time Out)
“Even while gesturing toward a redemptive sacred altar, a default mode for parenthood in many mainstream movies, the director lets the messy realities stand. And his fine cast makes them ring true—the selfishness and neglect, the confrontations brutal and tender, the pained silences and, not least, the gusts of pure, jagged joy.” (Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter)