Cert 12A 127mins Stars 1

Brie Larson fails to build on her 2016 best actress Oscar success with this shoddily constructed drama.

Based on the memoir of journalist Jeannette Walls, Larson plays the New York gossip columnist forced to confront her past when her parents move to a nearby bohemian squat.

Woody Harrelson and Naomi Watts wholeheartedly commit themselves to the shabby material.

There is an astonishing unintentional disconnect between what we’re told to feel and what we see, as woefully misjudged as filming Wuthering Heights as a heartwarming tale of everyday farming folk.

Walls’ journey from poverty stricken childhood to successful adulthood was an itinerant experience full of neglect and alcoholism.

Yet the film drowns the story in romanticised mawkishness and presents her father as an unconventional romantic with huge dreams.

There’s a lack of emotional truth among the appalling abuse, fear and violence. And despite being based on a real story, I didn’t believe a second of it.

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