The Glass Castle (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

November 2, 2017 by  

Destin Daniel Cretton’s film adapation of “The Glass Castle” is emotional, captivating and a film that is full of hope. Featuring wonderful performances from Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson and Naomi Watts, “The Glass Castle” is recommended!

Images courtesy of © 2017 Lions Gate Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: The Glass Castle


DURATION: 127 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (2:40:1 aspect ratio), English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, Subtitles: English, English SDH and Spanish

COMPANY: Lionsgate


RELEASE DATE: November 7, 2017

Based on the book by Jeannette Walls

Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton

Screenplay by  Destin Daniel Cretton, Andrew Lanham

Produced by Ken Kao

Co-Producer: Tami Goldman

Executive Producer: Mike Drake, Qiuyun Long

Associate Producer: Jennie Lee

Associate Co-Producer: Bo Shen, Shixing Zhou

Music by Joel P. West

Cinematography by Brett Pawlak

Edited by Nat Sanders

Casting by Ronna Kress

Production Design by Sharon Seymour

Art Direction by Nicolas Lepage, Charlotte Rouleau

Set Decoration by Suzanne Cloutier, Sebastien Thivierge, Manon Thomas

Costume Design by Joy Cretton, Mirren Gordon-Crozier


Brie Larson as Jeannette

Woody Harrelson as Rex

Naomi Watts as Rose Mary

Ella Anderson as Young Jeannette

Chandler Head as Youngest Jeanette

Max Greenfield as Brian

Charlie Shotwell as Young Brian

Iain Armitage as Youngest Brian

Sarah Snook as Lori

Sadie Pink as Young Lori

Olivia Kate Rioce as Youngest Lori

Brigette Lundy-Paine as Maureen

Shree Crookes as Young Maureen

Eden Grace Redfield as Youngest Maureen

Based on the worldwide best-selling memoir starring Academy Award® winner Brie Larson and Academy Award® nominees Woody Harrelson and Naomi Watts, THE GLASS CASTLE chronicles the adventures of an eccentric, resilient, tight-knit family.

An all-star cast shines in this inspiring film based on THE NEW YORK TIMES best-selling memoir. Jeannette (Oscar® winner Brie Larson) had a poor but wildly adventurous childhood, raised by her free-spirited father (Oscar® nominee Woody Harrelson) and her mother (Oscar® nominee Naomi Watts), an eccentric artist. But when her father’s behavior become erratic, Jeannette must find the courage to live on her own terms in this uplifting story of unconditional love.

Back in 2005, author and journalist Jeannette Walls released her memoir “The Glass Castle”.

Walls’ award-winning memoir stayed on the New York Time Best Seller List for 261 weeks and has sold over 2.7 million copies and translated into 22 languages.

And in 2017, the film adaptation directed by Destin Daniel Cretton (“Short Term 12”) and co-written by Cretton and Andrew Lanham (“The Shack”) was released in theaters and received positive reviews from film critics.

The film stars Brie Larson (“21 Jump Street”, “Short Term 12”, “Room”, “Kong: Skull Island”), Woody Harrelson (“No Country for Old Men”, “Zombieland”, “Cheers”), Naomi Watts (“King Kong”, “Mulholland Dr.”, “The Ring”), Max Greenfield (“New Girl”, “Hello My Name is Doris”), Sarah Snook (“Steve Jobs”, “Jessabelle”), Brigette Lundy-Paine (“Irrational Man”, “The Wilde Wedding”), Ella Anderson (“Mother’s Day”, “The Boss”), Sadie Sink (“Stranger Things”, “American Odyssey”) and more.

And now the film will be available on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of Lions Gate Entertainment.

“The Glass Castle” revolves around Jeannette Walls, the second oldest child of the Walls family.

The film begins with Jeanette (portrayed by Brie Larson) and her fiance David (portrayed by Max Greenfield) having dinner with one of David’s clients and winning them over and David winning the account.

We learn that has to lie about her parents and while riding in a taxi, she sees her mother dumpster diving and her father drunk and screaming at the taxi driver.  Jeanette calls her older sister Lori (portrayed by Sarah Snook) that she saw their parents homeless in the alley and she didn’t have the taxi stop.

We then go back to the past when Jeanette was younger and what seems like things are normal, young Jeanette’s life is anything but normal as her mother Rose Mary (portrayed by Naomi Watts) is a painter (who dedicates the majority of the time towards her paintings over her family) and her alcoholic father Rex (portrayed by Woody Harrelson).

Because Rex is unable to hold a job and Rose Mary focuses on painting, the family are constantly on the move in Arizona and California and their debts are enormous.

It doesn’t help that as Rex often gets drunk, her mother is busy with painting that she has very young Jeanette cooking food when she’s hungry.  But when her skirt comes in contact with the gas stove, her dress catches on fire and Jeanette is burned badly.

While in the hospital, the doctor is trying to find out why she was cooking and is concerned over Jeanette’s well-being, but just when they are to report the case to authorities, Rose Mary along with the other children try to find a way to keep the attention to them, while Rex gets Jeanette out of her hospital room.  And the family escapes the hospital and move.

But we see the tender care that father gives daughter (when he is sober).

While it seems their lives would have some normalcy when Rex gets a job in Nevada, unfortunately he loses his job and the children haven’t much to eat but butter and sugar. Rose Mary gets a job as a teacher but Rex uses her money towards gambling and alcohol.

When a mishap forces the family to flee to Phoenix, they move to Rose Mary’s mother’s home, which the Rose Mary inherits (along with money) when her mother passes away.  But they manage the burn the money quickly.

Meanwhile the film fastforwards to different times of when the children are younger, when they were older children, as teenagers and as adults.

How Jeanette and Lori try to take care of the family, how the family is concerned by Rex’s alcoholism and more.

As an adult, we learn that Jeannette (portrayed by Brie Larson) has been estranged from her parents, working for “The New Yorker” and can live a good life with David.  But can she totally forget about her parents and keep them out of her life?

And how challenging was the life of Jeannette Walls as a child before becoming a writer?


“The Glass Castle” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:40:1 aspect ratio). Picture quality showcases wonderful closeup details, skin tones look natural. I saw no artifacts or banding issues during my viewing of the film.


“The Glass Castle” is presented in English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD. The film is primarily dialogue and music driven, but dialogue and music are crystal clear.  There are some moments of alcoholic Rex breaking things all over the house and other situations that utilize the surround channels.

Subtitles are in English, English SDH and Spanish.


“The Glass Castle” comes with the following special features:

  • The Glass Castle: Memoir to Movie – (25:49) Author Jeannette Walls, cast and crew discuss the film and how the film hit close to heart for Jeanette.
  • A Conversation with Jeannette Walls – (15:25) Author Jeannette Walls and Josh Rothcoff discuss the memoir becoming a film.
  • Making of “Summer Storm” by Joel P. West – (3:22) How “Summer Storm” was inspired by the journal/writings of Rex Walls.
  • Scoring “The Glass Castle” – (4:06) A featurette about how the music for the film was created.
  • Deleted Scenes – (9:33) Featuring nine deleted scenes.


“The Glass Castle” comes with an UltraViolet Digital HD Code.

Jeannette Walls’ memoir “The Glass Castle” was a biographical story that touches many people because many people come from dysfunctional families and when things are bad, and when you think you had it bad, you read “The Glass Castle” and see how bad Jeannette and her siblings had when they were children, but having to escape the life they lived to become adults and move forward.

There are people who were raised from alcoholic or parents who are often under the influence and find it difficult to escape, but one thing that we learn from Wall’s memoir is how she was able to have a career but also find it in her heart to have forgiveness and be there for family.

And its a story that one can’t imagine becoming a film but filmmaker and writer Destin Daniel Cretton along with co-writer Andrew Lanham were able to do just that.  Creating carefully an adaptation that emphasizes character dynamics, emotion but feeling real.  It’s the true efficacy of “The Glass Castle” and it helps to have powerful performances from Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson and Naomi Watts.  But also solid performance from the various child actors who play Jeannette and siblings through different ages of their lives.

But I found it interesting, to see how Jeannette changed from a journalist doing well in her career, having a fiance with great potential but most importantly, leaving an old life behind.  But all of it changing after seeing her mother and father living homeless and dumpster-diving.

No matter how bad things are, she made the decision that she couldn’t have them live that life.

But nothing is easy, especially when it comes to reconciliation when you have a father who is alcoholic and a mother who is possibly mentally ill.  For all the good times, there were many bad times in the life of Jeannette and family.  Having to starve, miss school and not live a life like other people her age are living.

Always constantly on the run, living from state to state with no signs of things getting any better, when these children got older, they each had to make a difficult choice and that was to leave the life they lived, no matter how painful, they had to escape a toxic relationship with their parents.

But it’s the journey, through Jeannette Walls experience of how she was able to forgive and move forward with her life, while bring the family together was touching.

There are few films that are like “The Glass Castle” and considering it’s based on a true story of Jeannette Walls’ life, everything about this film and seeing the multiple forms of heartbreak, just to see how the person evolves from all of that, was what I found inspiring and what captivated my viewing of the film from beginning to end.

Picture quality for the film is well-done, lossless audio featured crystal clear dialogue and music and the numerous special features are really good, especially the featurette “The Glass Castle: Memoir to Movie” and seeing the emotions felt by author Jeannette Walls watching the scenes come alive and reminding her of the past and how the primary talent nailed their part.

Overall, Destin Daniel Cretton’s film adapation of “The Glass Castle” is emotional, captivating and a film that is full of hope. Featuring wonderful performances from Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson and Naomi Watts, “The Glass Castle” is recommended!

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