Woody Harrelson Solidly Delivers True-To-Life ‘The Glass Castle’ Character Causing Oscar Buzz

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Starring Woody Harrelson, Brie Larson, and Naomi Watts, “The Glass Castle” focuses on a yearning for order juxtaposed against a desire for chaotic freedom. At the heart of the contradiction is Rex Walls, a character played by Harrelson with astute enthusiasm, as a dreaming, blowhard. Playing opposite Naomi Watts as Rose Mary, the pair is the film version of real-life journalist Jeanette Wall’s parents, and this story is a reflection of her life.

To say that their family was categorically set adrift throughout much of the ‘60s and ‘70s would be an understatement. Rex’s approach to parenting was decidedly careless with outcroppings of chaos. Jeannette’s character is played in childhood form by actress Ella Anderson and then in adult form by Brie Larson. Contending with a late-1980s young adulthood in New York city, the story picks up Jeanette’s dysfunctional upbringing as she works in her role of a gossip columnist, never really feeling that she quite fit in. Recalling her youth in the film, it’s clear she admired her parents for what seemed like independent uniqueness, even while she suffers as a result of the disorder in their everyday life – which is by no means “everday.” There is never enough money, the family up and moves, always just a step ahead of the authorities or debt collectors, and while their father, Rex, goes from job to job, coming up with outrageously fantastical concepts of future projects, their mother, Rose Mary dreamily paints still lifes, landscapes, and portraits. Rex’s concept of a solar-powered mansion is what the movie’s title is derived from.

Shared on the Movie Trailers YouTube Channel, the official trailer for “The Glass Castle” features Harrelson in one of his best and thoroughly believable roles. As the nomadic clan’s father and supposed caregiver, his character’s return to his home town devolves him from a playful, eccentric dreamer into a raving, authoritarian drunk, causing the adult character of Jeanette to reminisce throughout the film to points in her coming-of-age that were always less than desirable. Harrelson, who hails from Midland, Texas, was himself born into a family of some sort of dysfunction (but then, aren’t we all?) having lost his father to federal imprisonment based on his own life choices, but not before he and his mother moved to her home town in Ohio. No doubt, as he does in many of his roles, he lends a little of himself to the character of Rex, drawing from any life experiences that might parallel the piece. Rumor has it there’s Oscar buzz surrounding his phenomenal performance of Rex Walls, which wouldn’t surprise us, considering his epic ability to consistently deliver a true-to-life character.

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