8/22/2017 5:11:00 AM Duck Ponderings: Glass Castle film brings surprising depth
About David Webster
From Lovett to Hope, David Webster, former Hope 5th grade teacher, pulls his writings from great people and great experiences.
I am not a movie critic; thus, my credentials are limited. I am a dad and a former elementary teacher who has reflected throughout my life about my relationship with my daughters and my students. While watching the ending of "The Glass Castle," the final scenes unexpectedly set off my emotions with tears streaming down my face.
The movie is based on the book and true story written in 2005 by Jeannette Walls, a story about a dad and a family who travel from one place to another while not really settling long any place. The mom has much artistic ability while the dad has a creative mind which is continually constructing a glass castle for the family to live in one day. Plans for the castle keep on breaking apart!
During the family's journey, you get a real sense of their joys and their many conflicts. While the dad is in the process of dying toward the end, the director, Destin Daniel Cretton, draws the audience into some of the best moments of the daughter and the dad being together. I found myself forgetting about the difficult subject matter before and thinking about some of the best moments with my daughters and what they might remember.
While the family is staying a night on the open range, I thought about our trip to Yellowstone. You get a real sense of nature even when staying in one of their hotels. I also thought about the numerous times I camped out on our farm and other farms with relatives and friends. It was filled with wonderful experiences. As I grew older, the appeal of camping out diminished. My girls will just have to recall our stay at Yellowstone!
There is a scene which the daughter is scared during that night, and the dad gives her a knife for security. We always had our guns, bows, and knives on our camping adventures. In retrospect, our parents were very trusting of us and what we might encounter. When my first daughter, Bethany, turned 16, I gave her the opportunity to shoot a shotgun that my dad had purchased for my 16th birthday. I still see her expression after the recoil effect despite trying to prepare her. It was the same expression I saw on my second daughter's face, Haley. I'm sure these types of memories will remain.
And, I was thinking about the love of the dad for his daughter and other children. Years ago, I wrote a song entitled "My Child, My Vows To You" which two former fifth grade students made popular, Kiersten Gross & Jordan McDaniel (cdbaby.com/cd/sallywebster or iTunes or Spotify). Bethany selected this song for our father and daughter dance at her wedding, certainly a moment I will never forget! The chorus follows:
And I'll love you
More than your eyes will ever see
More than your ears will ever hear
More than your heart will ever know
And one day my time here will end
But always know you will always be my song
You may want to read a synopsis of The Glass Castle if considering seeing it. There are several reasons why it is rated PG-13. Even though critics do not particularly rate it high overall, viewers rate it much higher. There were several people in attendance at a Bloomington Theater, and I don't recall anyone leaving during the two hours. Most even stayed when the movie was over while the credits were stll on the screen.
I prefer comedy over drama, but I am glad my family convinced me to watch it with them. We all need to reflect at times, even through the tears!