Brie Larson won an Oscar as Best Actress this year; so in case you missed it, here’s another chance. Based on the Booker-shortlisted best-seller by Emma Donaghue, ROOM is a tale of survival and endurance that is by turns harrowing, suspenseful, and wondrous. Recounting the story of a mother and child escaping from the captivity in which they have been held for several years, this visionary drama explores the trauma of being stolen from the world — and the marvel of discovering it for the first time.
Born in captivity, five-year-old Jack (Jacob Tremblay) knows nothing of the world beyond the shed to which he and his Ma (Brie Larson) are confined. Ma was only seventeen when she was stolen away to this grim place, where her only visitor is Old Nick (Sean Bridgers), her kidnapper and Jack’s father. In their spare, grubby environs, every object, like Table and Toilet and Sink, is not just a functional item but a friend. Though no one is a better friend to Jack than Ma. With tenderness and trepidation, she attends to Jack’s every need — running him through a morning exercise routine, playing games with him, giving him baths, and even baking him cake to celebrate his birthday. After Ma devises a precarious plan for their escape, Jack finds himself thrust out into the world beyond Room for the first time, where the array of sights, sounds, and sensations leaves him both frightened and awestruck. Rigorously adhering to the novel’s subjective point of view, ROOM shows us only what Jack himself sees, brilliantly contrasting extraordinary suffering with the beauty and challenges of ordinary life. Rounded out by excellent performances from William H. Macy and Joan Allen, director Lenny Abrahamson’s beautifully handled adaptation delivers emotional impact as it morphs from a taut survival thriller into a haunting drama of loss, mourning, and gradual reawakening.
*Golden Globe winner for Best Actress (Brie Larson)
*also Oscar for BEST ACTRESS BRIE LARSON
(Ireland & Canada / 2015 / Directed by Lenny Abrahamsson)
R / 113 mins.