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PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN GLASS HOUSES...
on 11 November 2002
This is an enjoyable, though predictable, thriller that seems more like a made for television movie rather than a motion picture made as a feature film release for the big screen. This is not entirely surprising, as it is directed by Daniel Sackman, a veteran television director.
The plot is fairly straightforward. Sixteen year old Ruby Baker (Leelee Sobielski) and her brother, eleven year old Rhett (Trevor Morgan)), are living the lives of normal, carefree kids with their loving parents, Grace (Rita Wilson) and David Baker (Michael O'Keefe). The world, as they know it, comes crashing down on them when their parents unexpectedly die in what appears to be a routine car accident. The family lawyer, Alvin Bergletter (Bruce Dern), informs the children that the terms of their parents' have left them wealthy and in the care and custody of former neighbors, Erin (Diane Lane) and Terry Glass (Stellan Skarsgard).
Before you know it, Ruby and Trevor are esconced in the Glass Malibu home, a huge, luxurious, all glass structure. Immediately, the viewer senses something is wrong, as, amidst all this room and spaciousness, Ruby and Trevor are forced to share a bedroom. A series of unsettling events serve to make Ruby suspicious of the motives of Erin and Terry Glass and cause her to make unwelcome inquiries into the deaths of her parents. What she discovers, however, comes as no surprise to the discerning viewer, who should have little difficulty in figuring out what is going on.
The performances, by and large, are adequate. Leelee Sobielski is somewhat wooden in her portrayal of Ruby, mistaking a deadpan expression for seriousness of purpose. Trevor Morgan is merely annoying, but this is brought about by a script that requires him to utter the word, "Sweet", everytime he is pleased with something. Their characterization of the children makes it difficult for the viewer to warm up to either of them.
Diane Lane sleepwalks through her part, which may be fitting considering her specific personal problem in the film. Stellan Skarsgard is appropriately menacing in a very controlled way. His is one of the better performances. The only odd note is that an accent of sorts seems to occassionally slip out, which is somewhat jarring. Bruce Dern is excellent as the family attorney, as is Chris Noth in the small role of the children's estranged uncle.
The DVD provides a very clear, high quality picture and sound. Other than the usual commentary and filmmaker interviews, the DVD does not offer all that much in terms of bonus features. For those who enjoy the inclusion of deleted scenes, this DVD offers exactly one such scene.