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Room Movie Review

Director: Lenny Abrahamson

Starring: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, William H. Macy, Sean Bridgers, Tom McCamus, Amanda Brugel, Joe Pingue, Cas Anvar

Oscar Wins: Best Actress (Brie Larson)

Other Nominations: Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Picture


To 5-year-old Jack, Room is the world. It’s where he was born, it’s where he’s grown up. It’s where he lives with his Ma and is a place where they can eat and laugh and play together. It has everything Jack needs, everything he knows.


But to Ma, Room is a prison. It’s where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years, raping and abusing her daily. It barely has enough space for one person, let alone two – and the only bit of sunlight to enter Room comes from a small skylight. Depression and poor health plague Ma every day and soon she comes up with a plan to escape – the only problem is that she must put Jack’s safety on the line for it to work.

Based on Emma Donoghue’s award-winning novel of the same name (which you should totally read if you haven’t), Room is not only a story about survival, but about the impenetrable bond between a mother and her son.

Though the escape of Jack and his Ma is best seen and not spoiled, it’s no secret that they do, indeed, get out (I mean it’s in the trailer for the movie). And as is the case with most abduction cases, being free is not quite the same as feeling free. In the comfort of Room, Ma could be a provider and keep Jack safe, even if they weren’t necessarily free. But outside the walls of Room, it seems that Ma and Jack reverse roles – with Ma acting like a needy, petulant child and Jack taking on the role of protector.

Brie Larson won an Oscar for Best Actress for her part as Ma and, in my opinion, Jacob Tremblay (Jack) was robbed of his own nomination. His performance here was nothing short of stellar and he absolutely deserved to be recognized for his talents.


The coolest thing about the novel is that Room is told in Jack’s voice, from the perspective of a five-year-old boy. I worried that would get lost in the movie version, but it really doesn’t. This is a beautiful reinterpretation of the novel and a heartbreaking study into what we actually need to survive.

 


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