UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Views From the Boston Skyeline

One of the more popular issues being toyed with in film today is the notion of trust. We all come to develop assumptions about this, which is quite natural. You assume you can trust your family, especially your parents. Obviously, when the issue of guardianship comes up, your parents choose someone that they trust to take care of you in the event of their demise. What happens when your guardians become untrustworthy?

In her latest film, “The Glass House,” Leelee Sobieski portrays a young high school student named Ruby with those very same assumptions. When her parents are killed in a car accident, she and her brother Rhett fall into the guardianship of their parents’ friends, Erin and Terry Glass. At first, they seem to have stepped into a world of opulence and privilege in a beautifully constructed glass house in Malibu, but not all is what it seems.

Before long, Ruby begins to suspect that Erin and Terry are not good guardians. Overheard phone calls, academic set-ups and a showering of gifts on her little brother cause her to question the sincerity of the Glass couple. As her suspicions grow, the Glasses begin to realize something’s up. What follows is a psychological thriller as tight as a high wire act and just as suspenseful.

What really drew me to this film, and what prompted me to throw caution to the wind and choose to see it over “The Others,” is a combination of its lack of real promotion and its primary star. Born Liliane Rudabet Gloria Esvelta Sobieski in 1982, Leelee has had some 20-odd roles varying from costume maker’s daughter to geek. Leelee got her first real break in Drew Barrymore’s “Never Been Kissed” as Aldys, the denominator’s chief, and Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut,” as the costumer’s nymphet daughter.

Regardless of her humble beginnings, Leelee now demands an asking price of $1 million per film and the producers don’t even bat an eye. What makes her so in demand? Popularly referred to as Helen Hunt’s twin, Leelee represents an example of the real talent that walks among modern day teen acting stock. Not to be taken too lightly, Leelee possesses a charisma not unlike a young Jodie Foster; able to successfully command roles that require her to be more than just a pretty face.

In this new role, Leelee shines, showing off her knack for suspense and an uncanny ability to draw the viewer in to her character’s own inner turmoil. Her talent is showcased within the realm of this unexpected screen gem, as her character Ruby becomes at once a girl we can sympathize with and at times someone we suspect to be suffering from teen rebellion. This highly believable balancing act of good girl/bad girl is what sets Leelee apart from her counterparts and makes her a dynamic actress with filmmakers clambering to sign her.

In you find yourself standing in the ticket lines at your local theatre this week, take a chance on “The Glass House” and find out for yourself why I have such high praise for a young woman from New York once passed over for a role in “Interview With the Vampire.” You’ll find she isn’t getting set aside for Kirsten Dunst anymore.