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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Movie Review - Glassland

Glassland (2016)
Starring Toni Collette, Jack Reynor, and Will Poulter
Directed by Gerard Barrett

Two great performances...one boring movie.  That about sums of Glassland -- so much potential and yet disappointingly disengaging.  Writer-director Gerard Barrett has crafted a fantastically emotionally fraught thirty minutes...and then not much else after that.  However, what's good is really good and shows that Barrett has an eye for grippingly emotional heartache.

Jack Reynor is John, a Dublin taxi driver, whose mother Jean (Toni Collette) is drinking herself to her demise.  Living with his mother is a job in and of itself with John having to attempt to watch after her whenever he's not out in his cab.  Finally, after one particularly rough night when he finds his mother unconscious with vomit strewn across her bed, he decides that he has to try and help her kick her addiction, forcing her into a rehab facility.

Reynor is a newcomer to me and shows strength as the beleaguered Jack, creating emotional heft in his grim desperation.  His love for his mother shines amidst his dreary surroundings, but it doesn't come without heartbreak.  As good as Reynor is, Toni Collette is even better, embodying the harrowing downfall of an alcoholic with such painful earnestness that it was sometimes uncomfortable to see her unravel in front of our eyes.

The duo's interactions with one another made me wish that Glassland was a better film, but unfortunately there's not much story here.  Side plots about Jack's friend Shane (Will Poulter) attempting to reconnect with his young son and a human trafficking ring into which Jack is pulled are throwaway stories used only to pad the film's runtime which is already a short ninety minutes.  In the end, Glassland is a bit of a misfire, albeit one with some wonderful and humanistic portrayals.

The RyMickey Rating:  C

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