Glassland

"Good"

Glassland Review


Even the lighter moments in this dark Irish drama are tinged with sadness, including a scene in which a tormented mother and son escape through dancing together ... to the strains of Soft Cell's Tainted Love. But the film is anchored by such a solid performance by Jack Reynor (Transformers: Age of Extinction) that it's definitely worth a look.

Reynor plays John, a young guy in Dublin working extra shifts as a cab driver to support his alcoholic mother Jean (Toni Collette) and his younger brother Kit (Harry Nagle), who has been institutionalised with Down's Syndrome and is never visited by his mum, not even on his 18th birthday. But then she's too busy drinking herself into serious illness. John's only support comes from his best pal Sean (Will Poulter), who has problems of his own as his ex (Maria Carlton) is demanding cash to support their young child. When Sean opts to move abroad to find work, John decides to get his mother into rehab, consulting a counsellor (Michael Smiley) who tells him that she will require a lot more than the one week the state can provide.

Things take a bizarre turn from here that isn't very clearly defined, but then writer-director Gerard Barrett isn't interested in explaining all of the details, mainly because he's telling the story from John's frazzled perspective. John lives through all of this a moment at a time, so the past is irrelevant, he seeks brief moments of joy wherever he can find them, and he just gets on with the job at hand, however freaky it may be. Through all of this, Barrett keeps things intense and unsettling, never quite letting the audience get its balance. This bold approach makes us feel almost as overwhelmed as John does.

None of this would work without Reynor's strikingly transparent performance (he won the acting award at Sundance for this role). Opposite him, Collette is a fiery, mercurial presence who finds joy and pain at all the wrong moments, and doesn't want her son telling her that she's ill. The film's only warmth is provided in Reynor's scenes with Poulter and Nagle, but even here the camaraderie and hope are balanced by a deep sense that their childhood dreams have simply vanished from the realm of possibility. Yes, this is a wrenching exploration of how society fails its people. Sometimes the message is laid on rather thickly, but the film is both skilful and urgent.



Glassland

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 93 mins

In Theaters: Friday 17th April 2015

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 6.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Gerard Barrett

Producer: Juliette Bonass,

Starring: as John, as Jean, as Shane, as Jim

Also starring:

Contactmusic

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