Truly standout performances from Brie Larson and newcomer Jacob Tremblay in Lenny Abrahamson’s new film ‘Room’, which presents a captivating emotional journey for a Mother and her Son.
What if all you ever knew of the world was one room?
For five-year-old Jack, this is his reality. Referred to simply as “Room”, Jack (Jacob Tremblay) and his “Ma” (Brie Larson) are confined to live in this small cramped space, forced to make do with basic utilities that their captor brings them once a week. For Jack this is the norm; Ma tells him that everything outside the walls is outer space, that the food and presents “Old Nick” brings them are magically created from the TV.
For Ma, life isn’t so delightful. She suffers through sexual assault from her imprisoner every night, forced to persevere with an optimistic attitude for not only the revolting Old Nick, but also for her son trying to grow up in this fictitious world. The first half of the film puts your emotions through the ringer, from feeling angry and appalled with what they have to endure, to feeling awe and wonder over how young Jack sees his small world.
The screenplay was written and adapted by Emma Donoghue, who wrote the best selling novel of which the film is based on. Anyone who has read the book, or even seen the films trailer, will know that the pair does in fact escape their captivity halfway through the story, which in my eyes is what elevates this film to its greatness. Without giving too much away on the details, Ma and Jack trick Old Nick and escape back into the world. For Ma, whose real name is Joy, the outside world is a distant memory from long ago, but for Jack, this is an entirely new reality. Jack’s engagement with this newfound world is what drives the second half of the story, as he discovers new things and uncovers the truth and excitement of what the planet has to offer. It’s his strength and sense of admiration that fundamentally helps the pair adjust to real life.
For Irish director Lenny Abrahamson Room is essentially his first notable film to be making waves on the big stage. 2014’s Frank was a wonderful film but was slightly too idiosyncratic for the mainstream, but with Room he has produced a film that is deserved of prestigious award. The film was nominated for three Golden Globes, with the magnificent Brie Larson deservedly picking up the award for Best Actress, while it was also nominated for Best Film and Best Screenplay. It’s pretty alarming however that Jacob Tremblay didn’t at least get a nod for best supporting actor, as he truthfully is the heart of the tale and deserves the recognition for an unbelievably fascinating performance from someone so young. Hopefully the Oscars will be more appreciative of the talent that this movie has produced.
Room is a beautiful character study that displays the love, strength and imagination of a mother and son. A definite must-see for anyone who craves a touching story, and a film which in turn forces us the audience to take a look at our own admiration for the world around us and our respect for our own personal relationships.
Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Cast: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, William H. Macy
Runtime: 118 minutes
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