In Room, a mother (Brie Larson) and son Jack (Jacob Tremblay) are held captive in a tool shed that they call Room. The mother has been there for seven years. Jack is five years old, and he has never set foot outside of Room in his entire life.
Room is a story of resilience and undying familial love. It is about a woman coping with stress under extreme trauma while also having to successfully raise a child. It is also raw with emotion, and unrelenting in its heart wrenching.
The narrative, based on the novel of the same name by Emma Donoghue, is stellar. Donoghue, also the screenwriter of the film, translates her story from page to screen seamlessly.
Larson gives perhaps the strongest performance of her career. She is an emotional powerhouse. Her performance screams award season recognition; hopefully the right people will hear.
A similarly impactful performance comes from young Tremblay, who is inarguably superb as the main focus of the film. Given the heftiness of the role, he is absolutely spellbinding. Having a script that relies so heavily on a child actor is always risky, but here it pays off in spades.
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If anything could be improved upon with this film, it is length. The fat could have been trimmed on this two-hour movie by just a hair. The dynamic between the first and second halves makes for a slowing of tension in the latter, which leads to drag in the final leg of the film.
Room is a beautiful film, with its quiet moments hanging in perfect juxtaposition with its tense ones. It is one of the best movies of the year thus far. If nothing else, it is certainly one of the most powerful.
Just see this film. Don’t go in expecting a thriller, which is something that could be easily confused given the premise. It is, instead, an emotional journey about the strength and resilience of family. And it is the second indie darling in a row from director Lenny Abrahamson, who directed last year’s Frank, so stay on the lookout for him in the future.
One final note: don’t watch the trailer for this film. It essentially nullifies (plot-wise, at least) the first hour of the movie. Seeing the trailer didn’t ruin the experience of the film for me, but I would have much rather gone in cold.
As always, thanks for reading!
Have you seen Room? If so, what did you think? Let me know in the comments!
—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)