America has fortunately be given another profoundly great Irish Film. After the overwhelming feelings of isolation we felt with the Irish film, Room (2015); our emotions take another beating when witnessing the physical and mental consequences of alcoholism in Gerard Barrett’s Glassland. The film had an incredible cast who really blew me away with their performances. Alcoholism is not a joke, and this film will show audiences just how heartbreaking it really is.
John (Jack Reynor) and his mother Jean (Toni Collette) reside in a low-income suburb in Dublin, Ireland. With no help from his mother, John works all night driving a taxi to help provide for his family, all while his mother falls victim to her disease. She believes a better life is found at the bottom of a bottle, even while knowing the impact her choices have on her family. Their story shows the sacrifices that have to be made from both John and Jean in order to create some hope for their future.
Barrett’s shots throughout the film were powerful. The change in technique and the difference in the camera’s movements really set the tone for each scene. There are times where the camera is motionless in a single room, making the audience feel as trapped as Jack feels in the scene. Later, Barrett changes over to a shaky camera technique, giving the audience more of an unsettled feeling. The film overall is simple, and despite not having a very complex story, it is raw and beautifully demonstrated. This film shows us the heartbreaking truth that many people in this world deal with everyday; without the amazing performances from the cast and well executed cinematography, this meaningful film might of fallen through the cracks. Check out Glassland in theaters on February 12th.
WINNER – SPECIAL JURY PRIZE – SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL 2015
BEST FILM – GALWAY FILM FESTIVAL