Brie Larson has come a long way since 2013’s indie critical smash Short Term 12, proceeding to snag a deserved Best Actress Oscar for Room and going toe to toe with the Kong himself in Kong: Skull Island. Short Term 12’s director on the other hand, Destin Daniel Cretton, hasn’t been quite so prolific, but now he’s reunited for Larson for his sophomore feature The Glass Castle, whose first trailer dropped yesterday.
Based on Jeanette Walls’ bestselling memoir, The Glass Castle guides us through her unique upbringing and adulthood. She grew up as a kind of modern nomad, being led around the American southwest by her father (an impressively hairy Woody Harrellson), never staying in one place for too long. For him, the thrill of living off the grid and remaining close to nature is paramount. At first, this nomadic style feels like heaven, with the father teaching his children earth sciences and how to fully grasp life’s possibilities.
But, as we see in the trailer, a life without roots takes its toll. This manifests in the kids nearly starving and their dad lapsing into abusive alcoholism. So, it’s no surprise that we find Larson’s Walls growing up to live in urban normality, having grown tired of unstable living. The return of her parents, however, soon sparks a conflict that unearths all the buried recriminations and dredges up long forgotten memories.
All in all, it’s a promising preview, with Larson looking as if she’s more than living up to her reputation as a top-flight character actor and Woody Harrelson obviously relishing flexing his dramatic muscles. Personally, I’ve got a good feeling about this one. I loved Short Term 12 and the focused character-based material presented here seems like a great fit for Cretton. I only hope they don’t sand off too many of the book’s rough edges.
The Glass Castle is set for release on August 11th.