Rated: PG-13 for mature thematic content involving family dysfunction, and for some language and smoking. Reviewed by: Gerry Release date: August 11, 2017 Released by: Lions Gate Films
When I looked at my Sunday morning book review section I noticed that my movie review assignment has been a paperback best seller for seven years. While I did purchase and enjoyed the story at its original release date, I thought the movie was a lot choppier than the print version.
The movie really centered on Rex Walls (Woody Harrelson), who was a constant presence on the screen. It was a really powerful portrayal, and showed him to be the key influence in Jeannette's life. The four children in the story really appeared to have nobody looking out for them. Rose Mary (Naomi Watts) was way to preoccupied with becoming a painter, and Rex had trouble with both booze and chronic unemployment. The film version mostly made me angry about their lack of concern for these neglected children.
The family was constantly moving in order to beat off the bill collectors. They were often cold, hungry, and ignored. Rex did seem to have skills that should have made him a good worker. He is aways making plans and creating blue prints for his mythical glass castle, but can't hold a job, control his drinking, or really be a grownup. Rex does have lots of energy. He makes sleeping in tents in the winter look like fun. He wants his kids to really study the stars, and realize the joy of wide open spaces.
Jeannette (Brie Larson) becomes a successful gossip columnist for a New York newspaper, but has problems with sharing her tragic early life with her more upscale friends. I thought Larson had little more than a cameo role. She is one of my favorites. I would rate this film at a B minus. The plot grabs you right away, but the neglectful parents made me unhappy.
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