This little Irish-Canadian movie may seem like a little indie movie that gets heaps of critical acclaim yet is a total snoozefest to sit through, but it’s actually a pretty amazing psychological-thriller.
5-year-old Jack, and Ma his mother are living in a small, squalid room with only a locked skylight as proof of the outside world. As the movie progresses it becomes disturbingly obvious that the two are being held captive by abusive ‘Old Jack’ who is assumed to be Jacks father.
The movie follows their life, as they have been surviving for seven years until Ma snaps and hatches a plan with her young son to escape. With the plan narrowingly working the pair escape and must cope with the intensity of the outside world.
To begin the film is a harrowing account of a life spent after kidnap, the likes of which you only ever read about in the news. What the movie does brilliant however, transforming it to another level of greatness beyond the typical thriller is deal with the aftermath of the traumatic situation.
After reading the disturbing stories, one usually assumes the victims go back to their family and live happily ever after, yet this is not the case at all. Ma struggles with media scrutiny, depression and reconnecting with the family and life she left behind while she was still herself a child.
Jack, born in solitary, has to expand his mind to every single thing he encounters, having previously believed ‘room’ was the entire world. Humans, animals, grass and toys are all entirely new concepts to him that he has a difficult time getting his head around. He even has to be taught to use stairs.
Jacob Tremblay is undoubtedly the heart of the movie, displaying one of the best child performances in recent history. His multi-faceted acting abilities are sure to see him booking films for quite a while.
Brie Larson also performed beautifully, authentically performing the spectrum of emotions one can only imagine would take place during this situation. She’s come a long way from sitting on cakes in United States of Tara.
The screenplay was written by Emma Donoghue, who also penned the book it is based on. She did a good job as majoritively the film breathes realism into a unthinkable situation, thought the last scene of saying goodbye to Room is a little too ‘Lifetime’ for our liking, but the mirroring of first and last scene and the enormity of situations between is stunning.
Much of the movie is viewed through the innocent eyes of Jack, whose naivety produces a sadness to his enjoyment of discovering the world for the first time.
The film only grossed $4.6mil at the box office, yet has received rapturous acclaim from critics and viewers alike.
Our Verdict: Could this movie win best drama? It is totally in with a shot. A beautiful story, and wonderfully crafted its biggest competition is Mad Max: Fury Road which critics were applauding for weeks. We prefer this however.
Could Brie Larson win best actress? Poor Brie, this is her first real year on the award circuit coming from movies such as 21 Jump Street and Scott Pilgrim vs The World. Against previous heavyweights Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, and Saoirse Ronan she will have a tough time, but she’s done enough to rightfully take the statue.
Could Emma Donoghue win best screenplay? The Irish writer did rework her own material for the movie so that could be a positive for her, and while it is beautifully and believably written she is up agains Tarentino. We give her a 50% chance against all four.