Room (2015)


Jack is a young boy of 5 years old who has lived all his life in one room. He believes everything within it are the only real things in the world. But what will happen when his Ma suddenly tells him that there are other things outside of Room?

The Oscar Nominations were announced recently for the best of 2015, and now I’m trying to catch up on all the movies that I haven’t seen that were nominated. Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, Bridge of Spies and Brooklyn are the movies that I’ve seen from the best picture nominations so far and I feel like all but Brooklyn deserve a nomination and would have put Steve Jobs forward in its place. I’m yet to see The Big Short, Spotlight and The Revenant, but plan on watching them all before the awards and The Revenant I’ll see tomorrow, so expect a review up soonish. I saw Room last night at a Cinema near me and was blown away by the film, it’s the second Lenny Abraham movie that I’ve seen on the back of 2014’s Frank, and he’s quickly establishing himself as a quality director with two hits in a row.

Room is a superb movie that relies on its cast to be good and Abraham cast them perfectly. Jacob Tremblay plays the five year old Jack who has lived all of his life within one room and knows nothing of the outside world, believing nothing but the emptiness of space to exist outside the walls.  His mother, Joy, however, played by Brie Larson, knows differently, and is about to shatter his view of the world by telling him the truth. How will Jack react when he learns that the Room itself, which has little more beyond a bed, toilet, a stove, a TV, wardrobe and a skylight looking down on them, is only a tiny place in comparison to the rest of the world? It’s an interesting, powerful moment that really works.  And then there’s the antagonist that the characters have to overcome, the serial rapist “Old Nick” (Sean Bridgers), who is responsible for locking up Joy and Jack and keeping them captive, and will be somebody that they’ll have to deal with if they want to make it to the outside world, which will have changed so much beyond the one that Joy knew when she left.

Room is a simple, interesting story that relies on its small cast to really shine and the acting is powerful as a result and really the main selling point of this movie. It’s well paced, with some scenes early on and at the end standing out in particular as the highlight of the film, and it weaves an unsettling story that really will leave an impact. The acting choices were crucial in getting Room right and Brie Larson really shines. Unfortunately, there aren’t quite as many other areas that really work, with the soundtrack in particular feeling clichéd and one-note, but on the whole, the movie hits all the emotional notes just fine.

The screenplay is strong and it’s interesting to see an involvement from Emma Donoghue, who wrote the book that the film was based on. I haven’t read the novel myself but watching this film has made me really want to, as rarely do I actually end up reading books after watching the film (normally it’s the other way around) so this should be an interesting experience.

On the whole, despite a few problems, Room is a good movie helped by some great performances including an amazing breakout role by Jacob Tremblay that is well worth giving a chance if you can. I was impressed by the film a lot and it’s clear to see why it was chosen for the Oscar Nominations, but whether it has the ability to win remains to be seen. Even if it doesn’t, it’s a powerful movie that comes recommended.



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