Film Review – Room (2015)


Title: Room (2015)

Director: Lenny Abrahamson (Frank)

Cast: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, William H. Macy, Joan Allen, Sean Bridgers

Plot: 5 year old Jack (Tremblay) and his loving mother (Larson) are held captive in a small room that they’ve been imprisoned in by Old Nick (Bridgers). As Jack begins to understand more about the world and why they are held captive, the two begin to plot their escape into the great big world that lay outside their walls.

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

Review by Eddie on 18/01/2016

It says a lot about the quiet yet assured power of Room that despite the fact half of Lenny Abrahamson’s film takes place in the titular and small “room” or really prison that Brie Larsons Ma and her son Jack played by impressive newcomer Jacob Tremblay are kept in, scenes in the film constantly engage the viewer through terrific performances, a taught and sharp script by Emma Donaghue (who here adapts her own book) and there’s an emotional resonance that will catch many viewers off guard.

Room is not by any means of the word an easy sell or even a typical cinematic piece of entertainment but Abrahamson who showed promise with the sporadically brilliant Michael Fassbender starrer Frank has a clear affiliation for the tricky material that Donaghue created.

Focusing on telling the dark and in more ways than one horrific story through the eyes of Tremblay’s innocent and impressionable Jack, who never once has set foot outside the thin yet impenetrable walls of his world that he and his mum inhabit, Abrahamson finds himself directing many of Room’s proceedings as though they were being seen through the eyes of a 5 year old child just as Jack is. Utilising a sparring yet effective voice over from the young boy that tells us all we need to know about how he sees the life he lives and constructing impressive visuals even in the films tight surrounds, this is Abrahamson’s real calling card after two commendable early efforts and the cast also join Abrahamson in an reaching another level of success.

She may have just recently won a surprise Golden Globe for her committed and believe able turn as a loving mother but Brie Larson has been carving out a noteworthy collection of films over the last few years so the true breakout of Room is young Tremblay.

Tremblay delivers a deep and beyond his young years turn as Jack and it’s thanks to this child actors success that Room becomes the film that’s been resonating with audiences the world over. While Larson will be billed as the star here it is Tremblay that carries the film through its sometimes murky middle half and whenever he and Larson share the screen, Room is an often faultless exercise in dramatic filmmaking. It’s a stunning turn and one that will likely seeing the young performer be an in demand presence in the years to come.

While it arguably loses some head of steam after a breathtaking opening half in its exploration of the opportunities that lay outside the prison walls, Room is a unique and emotionally strong tale of the bond mothers and sons share and in a strange yet touching manner, a tale of what it means to be alive in this great big beautiful world we call home.

4 remote control cars out of 5

28 responses to “Film Review – Room (2015)

  1. I can’t wait to see this. I have rated Brie Larson in everything I’ve seen her in so far. It will be a toughie to watch (as the book was to read) but like you say, I’m hoping it will be worth it.

  2. Nice review It is on my list it is coming on March 9 in France. I am looking forward to it. Thank you.

  3. Hmmm. Read the book, and as touching as it was, I don’t intend to reread it any time soon. That made me immediately dismiss the movie when I heard about it, but I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t consider the challenge it would be to set the majority of a film in one room and keep the audience from getting bored with the setting. Maybe I’ll see this at some point after it leaves theaters.

    • Yeh I’d be very interested to one day read the book but it would have to be just as challenging as the movie. It’s amazing how they keep it going though in the one tiny space, its really cleverly done.

  4. Loved this movie. Tremblay is incredible and the film is mesmerising. For a terrible situation, it never feels difficult to watch. It balances that very well.

  5. Amazing film. Great write up, a lot of points that were going through my head also. I loved how emotionally intense it was, I’m keen to re-watch this soon, hopefully on the big screen 😀

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