I experienced a very rare feeling last night after stepping out of the movie theatre: a film adaptation of a book had actually matched the quality of the literary effort. Seriously, how often do we find ourselves saying, Oh my gawd! The book was soooooooo much better!
Well, not so with Jeannette Walls’s The Glass Castle. I read her memoir in my book club a few years ago and it was one of the few times we had a unanimous decision from the members – it was a great, heartfelt, well written, highly memorable story.
Thing is, so was the movie. However, I have to qualify that by adding one thing. Woody Harrelson stole the show and put on arguably his best performance since Natural Born Killers. I mean, really, you know you’ve got a real gift when you play a complete asshole whom everyone in the audience wants to kill and yet you endear yourself to these same people through your vulnerability and humanity. That was the power of Woody’s performance in this crazy story of Ms. Walls’s nomadic upbringing.
So, long of the short, read the book and go and see the movie. Or vice versa. It really doesn’t even matter in which order you do this. You’ll simply be happy for both experiences.