Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Cast: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Sean Bridgers, Wendy Crewson, Amanda Brugel, Joan Allen, Cas Anvar, William H. Macey, Tom McCamus
Age Rating: 15/R
Running Time: 118 Minutes
It is just over 3 months since I missed the opportunity to catch this film at the BFI Festival, and all I can say is that it was worth the wait! In this review I will try and give you an insight into why one of the films that everybody is talking about is my joint favourite that I have seen since I have been writing reviews (Nov. 2014) along with WHIPLASH and TRUMBO (Review coming soon)!
Jack (Jacob Tremblay) is a five-year-old boy who has grown up knowing nothing but ‘Room’, which is much more than just his residence, it is his world. His ‘Ma’, Joy (Brie Larson), who was abducted by the terrifying ‘Old Nick’ (Sean Bridgers) when she was 17, 7 years ago, has raised Jack in this compact enclosure where he believes that the TV he watches is magic, and his imagination is allowed to rule his life. With no connection to the outside world apart from an unreachable skylight, and in a world where Joy is continually raped and Jack is shielded from any suffering she experiences, Joy realises that her son is now old and smart enough to escape on his own and embrace the freedom she once had. After devising plots to “trick Old Nick”, Jack escapes his unknown imprisonment and adapts to a world he never knew existed. Incredibly, the drama and heartbreak does not end here.
Without saying anymore about the film’s plot, it is tricky to describe why this film is such a breath-taking and emotional journey. It is a brilliant novel adaptation which has been written for the screen by the novelist herself, Emma Donoghue, so immediately you know that it has value as a ‘true to the story’ film.
Brie Larson’s performance is astounding. Having encountered her only in comedies previously such as 21 JUMP STREET, I was surprised to see her in such a serious role, but once you witness her display in this film, you will look at her as one of the best actresses of this generation. I am unfortunately still yet to see JOY, CAROL and 45 YEARS, so it is very hard to judge without being biased, but I have everything crossed that she will win the Oscar for ‘Best Actress’ for this flawless film.
In addition to this, we also see a performance from an up and coming 9-year-old actor who could even give the ‘Best Actor’ veterans a run for their money this year! Jacob Tremblay is perfect as Jack. He plays the innocent part so well and even when he has his outbursts at Joy, you cannot be angry with him. You simply understand his mindset throughout which is credit to the casting and writing of this masterpiece.
Overall, ROOM is an original, frightening and liberating tale which is destined to be an instant classic! With two powerhouse performances from the unlikeliest of names, this film deserves all the recognition it gets at this year’s Oscars. I hope we see Brie Larson accepting the award for ‘Best Actress’, and so far, I am hoping that ROOM wins ‘Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)’ as this is a brilliantly chilling story which I am ashamed to say that I had not heard of prior to me seeing it.
“Love knows no boundaries.”
Recommendation: A beautiful film and a definite contender for Best Picture at this year’s Oscars! Not necessarily a big screen film, but it deserves your money for the admission ticket!