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Sunday, May 8, 2016

'Glassland' DVD: Toni Collette's Wonderfully Dystopian Irish Mother' Day Fable

Product Details
The 2014 Irish drama "Glassland" showing the intense (but finite) devotion of early 20s son John for his intensely alcoholic mother makes it very apt for the May 2016 selection for the always spectacular Film of the Month Club  (a subscription to which would make a terrific Mother's Day gift) of indie foreign movie company Film Movement. A theme of this one is the extent to which a son will take desperate measures when his mother creates desperate times.

As Movement explains in a liner note, Sundance selection "Glassland" has a strong indie feel. Much of this is attributable to star Jack Reynor, who plays the aforementioned rural Irish taxi driver. More established star Toni Collette does her typically excellent job portraying alcoholic mother Jean. These factors additionally create a sense of a live-stage production.

The following YouTube clip of the "Glassland" trailer goes beyond promoting the film to showcasing the exceptional beauty and intensity that set it apart from other notable movies.


The status of the parent-child relationship at the beginning of the film is that John is incorporating limited and minor criminal activity in his driving job. He also is feeling increasing frustration regarding both barely getting by and having to assume the parental role with Jean.

An especially bad incident with Jean early in "Glassland" requires that John get her not to rehab no no no but to hospital as folks from their region say. The subsequent negative prognosis regarding Jean increases the urgency that she does obtain intense rehab treatment. Jean resisting that treatment and John not having the necessary funds worsens this bad situation.

Reynor and Collette especially shine in scenes that demonstrate the extremes regarding being the adult child of an alcoholic. One has them gleefully drinking and rocking out. The other involves a figuratively sobering one in which Collette delivers a monologue on the related issues of her inability to be a fit mother and her alcoholism.

Other drama comes in the form of John feeling pressure to increase his illegal activity to earn enough money for the care that Jean requires. Suffice it to say, going down that road does not end well.

These universal real-world elements for which director Gerard Barrett successfully strives truly makes it a film for its period. The observation in the 1999 film "Fight Club" that 20-something men are the first generation raised by women is as true (if not more true) regarding millennials. One unseen aspect of this is that it often falls on these men to step up when these women require support.

The (as always) well-selected Bonus Short Film in the Club release of "Glassland" is the eight-minute French film "Aissa." This film is just as uncomfortably probing as the feature film in depicting the intense poking and prodding of a young Congolese woman who is facing deportation back to her native country.

The DVD extras include interviews with Barrett and Reynor.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Grassland" or Movement is encouraged to either email me or to connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy,