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The Glass Castle

Film version of Jeannette Walls’ 2005 memoir of her impoverished childhood tries to put a cheery gloss on everything, as if all the excruciating history was somehow not as bad as it seemed at the time. Together with her alcoholic, wannabe-engineer father (Woody Harrelson) and failed artist of a mother (Naomi Watts) — as well as her three siblings — Walls (Ella Anderson, mostly, as a child; Brie Larson from high school on) leads a peripatetic existence one step ahead of the law and bill collectors before ending up in Dad’s hometown of Welch, W.Va. There are no moral forces at work in the story. There’s only the feral ability to survive. Yet director Destin Daniel Cretton, who co-wrote the screenplay with Andrew Lanham, avoids all the most wretched material from the book to invoke some kind of rosy Appalachian glow.

Watch out for: A brief scene of implied child sexual abuse, physical violence and fleeting profanities and rough language.

Rated: A-III, adults; MPAA: PG-13

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017