Directed by: Lenny Abrahamson
Starring: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay & Sean Bridgers
Running time: !hr 58mins
Room is the story of Jack (Tremblay), a five-year-old boy who lives with his mother Ma (Larson) in the captivity of a 11’ x 11’ room, protected from the truth of his mother’s kidnapping by a man known only to them as Old Nick (Bridgers) and having grown up only knowing of the outside world from a skylight, an old television, and what Ma has told him.
When Old Nick reveals to Ma that he has lost his job and the heating in their room shuts off for a day, Ma takes desperate steps to smuggle Jack out of Room, beginning a journey for him into a world he has no real experience of and struggles to comprehend.
Written by Emma Donoghue, Room is based on her book of the same name, and you would think that, given the subject matter, it would make for a grim and disturbing movie. Instead though, the movie is told cleverly from the viewpoint of Jack, being only five and protected by Ma, he is unaware of the circumstances of his birth and has never known anything other than Room. Director Larry Abrahamson does an impressive job of filming the room in such a way using inventive wide angles that make it easy to believe that Jack lives a happy life in what would otherwise be an incredibly depressing environment.
Jacob Tremblay makes an impressive debut, displaying a sense of wonder with his life but once Ma begins trying to prepare him for the outside world he does a wonderful job of expressing the emotional frustration of being unable to comprehend her stories. Even more, once outside in the world, he manages to display a great mix of confusion, wonder and fear in the situation he finds himself in. Often with this kind of role the performance will struggle to pull in the audience, but here Tremblay is hard to watch without being fully engaging.
Brie Larson also gives an incredible performance that won her both the Bafta and Academy Awards for best actress, deservedly so, as she also goes on her own journey throughout the movie having raised and protected Jack whilst protecting him from the truth of an horrific situation. At the same time, the movie and their performances manage to evoke an incredible range of emotions without being bogged down by the darkness of the subject unlike other movies of this type, an example being The Lovely Bones, which Room does a solid job of being emotionally engaging enough to bring tears to the eye, and yet leave you with an uplifted and life-affirming feeling in your heart. It’s easy to understand why it received so much acclaim and is a must see drama.
Room is released on DVD and Blu Ray in the U.K. on 9th May and includes an Audio Commentary with Director Larry Abrahamson and ‘Making Of’, ‘Eleven by Eleven’ and ‘Cast & Crew’ featurettes.
5 out of 5 nerds