14 April 2013

The Glass House

Glass House 2001
  • Director: Daniel Sackheim
  • Based on book: No
  • Cast: Leelee Sobieski, Diane Lane, Stellan Skarsgård, Bruce Dern, Kathy Baker
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor/actress in:
    • Leelee Sobieski  Public Enemies, 88 Minutes, My First Mister
    • Diane Lane – The Perfect Storm, Under Toscana’s Sun  
    • Stellan Skarsgård – Thor, Mamma Mia, Pirates of the Caribbean, Dogville, Dancer in the Dark, Amistad, Breaking the Waves, Den enfaldige mördaren
    • Bruce Dern – The Homecoming, The Laughing Policeman, The King of Marvin Garden, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They, Silent Running, The Fugitive (TV series)
    • Kathy Baker – Last Chance Harvey, Jane Austin Book Club, Cold Mountain, Cider House Rules, To Gillianon her 37th Birthday, Mad Dog and Glory, Edward Scissorhands,
  • Why bought: connection to Hamlet
  • Seen: Twice. First time 2003. Second time: January 25, 2013

 This is not a movie that needs to be seen twice.  It was hardly worth it the first time. Still, it has some qualities.  It’s exciting enough so that you don’t think about the lame story – poor orphaned rich kids taken in by parents’ rich friends only they’re out to get the kids’ money because she’s a drug addict and he owes big time to nasty loan sharks.
The teenage girl Ruby (nice name J) quickly suspects but the adults around her won’t help.  She sneaks around the glass house herself trying to find ways to rescue herself and her little brother. She succeeds of course and all the bad guys get killed.
Why did big-time actors like Stellan Skarsgård, Diane Lane and Bruce Dern agree to be in this less than brilliant movie? I don’t know but they did a good job with it.  Skarsgård has always delivered, from his early films in Sweden to his wide range of international roles.  How he’s had time to father all of his fifty-seven or so acting kids I don’t know.
Maltin described Sobrieski as more sullen than vulnerable but that’s exactly why her role was believable.  Of course she’s sullen. She’s a spoiled teen-ager whose parents have just been killed and her whole life has been taken away from her. Who wouldn’t be sullen?
So where does Hamlet come in? As homework. Ruby has to write a paper about Hamlet. She’s not exactly wild with enthusiasm and falls asleep doing it, wakes up to see that Skarsgård has done it for her.  Not only does she turn it in but she gets caught because Skarsgård cheated too, plagiarizing literature professor Harold Bloom’s Shakespeare – the Invention of the Human. How cool is that? I use that book a lot on my blog Shakespeare Calling. I don’t plagiarize though, I use proper footnotes. I wonder when they’ll start using Stephen Greenblatt’s Shakespeare analysis in thrillers.
The Hamlet thing goes a little deeper though. Ruby’s parents have been murdered by a brother sort of figure who tries to take over the kingdom and she wants revenge. And gets it.
Somewhat interesting.
Do I recommend it?  Not really but I don’t advise against it either.  Go ahead.  See it.  It has its points.

2 ½ *of 5.  

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