Room is a highly ambitious film, as it attempts to delve into the deepest of human emotion and tell a complex and dark story through the eyes of a young child. It’s an interesting way to tell a story, and Room nails the emotional resonance found in this situation, and avoids situations when it could be overblown in sentient or melodrama. The performances are strong throughout, but it’s the realism and life that Lenny Abrahamson that establishes Room as one of the best films of the year.
The film follows the story of Joy Newsome (Brie Larson), a single mother living with her son Jack (Jacob Tremblay) in a small room, where’s she’s been captured by a sexual predator since she was a teenager. As Jack grows to be older, Joy must attempt to provide for him and answer his questions. As the hope of escape grows nearer, and the situation in the room grows more desperate, the two must not only face the challenge of escape, but the potential issues of adjusting to a normal life.
Director Lenny Abrahamson, who nailed last year’s Frank, works well in the intimate environment, providing beautiful imagery and cinematography that captures the beauty even within the darkest of situations. While Room is an intense film, the innocence of seeing the story from the perspective of a child adds a lot to the film, were traditional dramatic storytelling would fail. The film is successful in capturing this, and the relationships between all characters feel both natural and worthy of the story.
To say that Brie Larson is great here is an understatement, as her performance ranks as one of the year’s best, as her emotional range goes beyond just a few emotional scenes, adding her strength as a performer throughout the film. also great is the performance of Jacob Tremblay, a newcomer who gives a complex and powerful performance rarely seen in an actor of his age. The supporting characters, including Joan Allen, William h. Macy, and specifically Tom McCamus are additionally excellent, and only complicate the emotional undercurrents of the story.
Room is one of the best films of the year, a beautiful and intimate story that works well within its plot. The film is emotionally raw and powerful, featuring one of the most natural relationships in recent memory. Grade: -A