The Glass Castle (2017)

The Glass Castle portrays decades-long physical, emotional, and sexual child abuse that is whitewashed, sanitized, and oddly made acceptable, leaving the viewer questioning motives.

While appreciating various elements of the movie and being captivated by most performances, especially Woody Harrelson's, the film fails to gain my appreciation in the end. Instead, it evokes a sense of awakening and anger. Harrelson, often seen as an American darling, is portrayed in a contrasting light, raising uncomfortable questions about societal perceptions.

The Glass Castle, symbolizing broken promises and an abusive father's failures, is condemned as a metaphorical landfill, echoing the film's fantastical broken promises. Larson's character attempts to justify it all in the end, turning the journey versus destination concept into Hollywood nonsense.

While I used to dislike writing negative reviews, this film, in my perspective, becomes a symbol of abuse. Black characters face tragic fates and adomonishment and prison, while the white abuser is oddly redeemed, perpetuating concerning stereotypes and social norms. 

The film depicts instances of disturbing abuse but falls short in holding characters accountable, to the point of making the movie unethical. The troubling portrayal of a white woman's sexual abuse of a child is downplayed, emphasizing more remorse over her death than her perverse abuse against children.

In the end, the film showcases numerous pictures of the deceased white abuser, seemingly glorifying him despite his horrifying real-life actions. 30 years dead as though he was something more than a piece of trash because a white woman wrote a book.

In real life, Woody's character burned a child's entire torso, kidnapped her from the hospital, and let her scar up around a campfire running around with a knife shortly after, talking about hunting demons that are only in the soul of her whiteman "father."

I've never seen a movie with such a high level of abuse presented in a seemingly cleansed manner. In film school, it would serve as a prime example of an unethical portrayal that neglects accountability for characters involved.

This raises questions about filmmakers' responsibility and the potential real-life impact of such portrayals, emphasizing the need for ethical considerations in cinematic storytelling.

It makes use of violence and trauma yet does not hold characters accountable. Thats how Fight Clubs happen. Filmmakers are not legally liable for their art but are responsible for the results.

The ultimate result of The Glass Castle is a lovely little homage to those that abuse children in every way possible, a disconcerting tribute to those who perpetrate child abuse. Reality that rings true throughout my childhood and life.