Room – ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ DVD Review
Wow. What a story, what a film. What a great cast and what great performances!
For Jack (Jacob Tremblay), the entire world is contained inside a single room. “Room” is where he has spent his whole life. A ten-foot by ten-foot prison, but it is the only world he has ever known. Jack lives with his mother (Joy or “Ma” played by Brie Larson) who has lived in Room for nearly ten years after she was kidnapped as a teen and kept in what is little more than a shed with power and plumbing by “Old Nick” (Sean Bridgers). Old Nick brings them food and supplies and has sex with Joy. Jack is a child of her repeated rapings. While Joy has tried to keep that hidden from Jack, one night he sees Old Nick with his mother which leads Joy to make the decision to try to escape. Not believing Ma that there is anything else but Room, and that there is nothing outside the door, Jack rejects the words of his panicked and frustrated mother, but eventually trusts her and the two enact a plan to break out. The film is split into two acts, the first hour is Jack and Ma’s life in Room, and the buildup to their escape, the second hour shows how the pair cope with life and the larger world around them when they do finally escape. Sorry, not a spoiler, because the picture on the cover of the DVD case shows them quite clearly outside and not in Room. Both Jack and Joy are now ill-equipped to deal with the things that await them, from Joy’s family to doctors and reporters and lawyers. Joy’s parents split up while she was gone, her mother (Joan Allen) is now in a relationship with a former friend of the family (Tom McCamus), and Joy has to deal with all the other aspects of the world that have moved on without her. The life that she was taken from no longer exists, and that lost life is something she will never be able to get back pushing her through a range of emotions from anger to guilt and depression. Jack has only ever seen two people before in his life, and the introduction of new lives into his universe is overwhelming. Neither knows what to do in a world that doesn’t know what to do with them.
Based on the book by Emma Donoghue, Room is a well written story that is capped off by truly incredible performances by Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay. The two had incredible chemistry together, which was very important since they had to effectively carry the entire first act of the film alone. Jacob Tremblay may have only been 7 years old when filming Room, but he gave a performance that was easily on par with the other, established, adult actors of the piece. I had seen Brie Larson in a few things before and enjoyed her performances (including her short turn as Abed’s kind of girlfriend in TV’s Community), but now I definitely think I’m a Brie Larson fan and look forward to her future films. She absolutely deserved her Oscar for Best Actress this year. I felt the supporting cast delivered equally spellbinding performances as well; I especially liked William H. Macy. As Joy’s father he can’t even bear to look at Jack let alone talk to him, and through his performances you can see the weight, the emotion, the struggle, the anger and the sorrow he is feeling. Director Lenny Abrahamson had a difficult task ahead of him with the confined shooting quarters of Room, but also having to convey such an emotional story largely through the perspective of an isolated child. The whole story worked but really wouldn’t have worked as well without the tandem of Larson and Tremblay.
Bottom Line: If Jacob Tremblay had been nominated for Best Actor, he would have easily beaten DiCaprio…
Posted on 16-07-17, in 5 Star, Movie Reviews and tagged Best Actress, Brie Larson, Emma Donoghue, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, Oscar, Oscar winner, Room, Sean Bridgers, Tom McCamus, William H. Macy. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.