review – room


This is generally not my kind of movie; it’s dark, depressing, a bit of a downer. And yet, this is the most emotionally powerful movie I’ve seen in a very long time. There were times during the movie when I simply couldn’t stop shaking as I watched what the characters were going through. At the end, I couldn’t stop sobbing for the innocence and adaptability of childhood – and the fierce protectiveness of a young Mom. And there was never a time when everything just didn’t feel real. This is one of those movies that is somehow harrowing, arresting and uplifting, all at the same time. It works its way into your heart and refuses to let go. And if you want to know what being a mother looks and feels like, watch Brie Larson; there is no performance this year better than hers.

It’s the tender, touching, tough, and tension-filled story of a twenty-four year old girl (Larson) who’s been held captive in a one-room shed for the past seven years. Five years ago, she had a baby boy. His name is Jack (Jacob Tremblay) and today is his birthday and now that he’s older, she needs his help to get them both out of there. It’s not a “spoiler” to tell you they make it out; that’s widely publicized – and besides, that’s not what the movie is about. “Room” is about making the best of what you have; it’s about learning to adapt to two different worlds; it’s about the love between a mother and a son; it’s about knowing when to leave. And it’s about what small movies with tight scripts and sure direction do best – deliver a film that’s emotional, suspenseful, and superb. The performances are economic, electrifying, extraordinary. Great gobs of credit here go to an economical, intelligent, and intense script by Emma Donoghue, based on her book. And to the truthful direction by Lenny Abrahamson who really understood that this is a story about a parent protecting her child while struggling to grow up herself. Together, they make this traumatic, touching, and in the end, hopeful. Joy and Jack will stay with you long after they say good-bye to “room.” This is a masterwork.