Film Review: Room (2015)

Never had I paid much attention to Oscar-nominated films. Sure, some of them were good, but usually they turned out to be a cluster of drama and nonsense. Nevertheless, I decided to be a bit more open-minded and give more films a try. Little did I know I’d savagely seize a movie called Room off the Lucky Day shelf.

Directed by Lenny Abrahamson and adapted from the original novel by Emma Donoghue, Room follows the lives of Joy Newsome (Brie Larson) and her five-year-old son, Jack (Jacob Tremblay) who have lived in an enclosed space for years. When the two finally gain their freedom, Joy and Jack find themselves on an emotional rollercoaster in experiencing the outside world for the first time.

Room had been referred to numerous times in the heist of the 2016 Oscars buzz. Room was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay. And this was just for the Academy Awards. Room had been nominated for so many other awards, I can without a doubt see why.

“You’re gonna love it.” “What?” “The world.”

Abrahamson did an exquisite job as a director. I especially enjoyed the cinematography

Seeing the sky for the first time

featured in the film—as the journey is meant to be emotional to both the characters and the audience, and helps beautifully present the story though the innocent view of a child. Abrahamson succeeds in harvesting a claustrophobic vibe via darkness and reoccurring close-ups of the characters’ hands touching and feeling a connection to activities that would seem simple and every-day to us. Not only is it a work of art, but it also subtly draws hidden characteristics of our protagonists to the surface. In fact, when we finally see the outside, the audience is as invigorated and alive as Joy and Jack.

“When I was small, I only knew small things. But now I’m five, I know everything!”

The plot was simplistic, yet amazing. Room snatches its audience from their seats and emotionally invests them. It’s one of the few movies where the time passes by quickly without you thinking, “when is it over?” because its pacing is great. Although, yes, it does drag a bit during the second half of the film, it is but one drawback the audience can look over.

Bonding with mom in times of boredom

The actors Abrahamson and Donoghue chose for the flick perfectly encapsulate the essence of Room’s characters. Jacob Tremblay proved himself to be an incredible actor at the tender age of nine. I can only anticipate what next comes in store for the charming young man. And Brie Larson is phenomenal—and I mean PHENOMENAL in this film. Larson perfectly articulates the little actions of a true human being that would go unnoticed by most other actors.  The actress encompasses Joy’s brave character; a troubled, tired mother trying to keep her chin up in spite of her defeated spirit escaping her irises. The audience experiences her hopelessness and pain that leaks to the surface. I am entirely glad a hidden treasure such as herself has been discovered through this film.

“You’re five and you’re old enough to understand what the world there is. You have to understand. YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND. We can’t keep living like this. You need to help me.”

Room is an overwhelming, riveting magnificent tale. It’s a hell of a good movie made in a long time—and a refreshing one at that. I honestly thought that it should’ve nabbed more Oscars than it was nominated for. Room’s plot, cast, cinematography, and music make for an emotional story of prevailing over overwhelming odds. One of my now-all-time favorites! Get your tissue boxes ready!

Running Time: 1h. 58 min.

Rating: R

Final Verdict: A+

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