Glassland | Film review - Jack Reynor's young Dublin cabbie feels the strain in this gritty Irish drama

Jack Reynor in Glassland

Last seen playing a heroically hunky rally driver in Transformers: Age of Extinction, Jack Reynor gets behind the wheel again for gritty Irish drama Glassland, but this time the setting couldn’t be more grimly realistic. He’s John, a young Dublin taxi driver stoically working nights in order to support his alcoholic mother (Toni Collette). But with his mum fiercely drinking herself to death, the strain of being her carer is pushing him to breaking point… Making his second feature, 27-year-old writer-director Gerard Barrett imbues his film with a sense of painfully oppressive claustrophobia and dysfunction. Not everything works. A plot strand involving sex trafficking feels forced and a miscast, not fully convincing Collette hits some wrong notes along the way. Reynor, though, is superb, and his tightly wound, taciturn performance lets us feel the clenched desperation of the young cabbie's plight.


Certificate 15. Runtime 93 mins. Director Gerard Barrett.

Jason Best

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.