Glassland – Film Review

A stark, deeply moving examination of a family stretched beyond breaking point by addiction and poverty

Twenty-seven-year-old writer-director Gerard Barrett won acclaim for his first feature, the 2012 Irish Times Best Film Award winner, Pilgrim Hill. This follow-up, shot over 18 days in a dark, rain-swept Dublin, is a stark, deeply moving examination of a family stretched beyond breaking point by addiction and poverty. Barrett has found formidable collaborators in Toni Collette (The Sixth Sense) and Jack Reynor (Transformers: Age Of Extinction), who are utterly compelling as a mother filling her emotional emptiness with alcohol and her patient, heartbroken son, trying to keep it all together. This is lean, sharp filmmaking in the spirit of Ken Loach or Alan Bleasdale: Glassland may be bleak and brittle, but hope burns like fire at its heart.