ROOM tells the extraordinary story of Jack, a spirited 5-year-old who is looked after by his loving and devoted mother. Like any good mother, Ma dedicates herself to keeping Jack happy and safe, nurturing him with warmth and love and doing typical things like playing games and telling stories. Their life, however, is anything but typical--they are trapped--confined to a 10-by-10-foot space that Ma has euphemistically named Room. Ma has created a whole universe for Jack within Room, and she will stop at nothing to ensure that, even in this treacherous environment, Jack is able to live a complete and fulfilling life. But as Jack's curiosity about their situation grows, and Ma's resilience reaches its breaking point, they enact a risky plan to escape, ultimately bringing them face-to-face with what may turn out to be the scariest thing yet: the real world.Written by
When Nancy and Jack get out of the car from grocery shopping, between cuts her purse changes back and forth from being held over her shoulder, to in her hand a few times. See more »
Ssh. Go back to sleep.
[reciting to himself]
Once upon a time, before I came, you cried and cried and watched TV all day, until you were a zombie. But then I zoomed down from heaven, through skylight, into Room. Whoosh-pshew! And I was kicking you from the inside. Boom, boom! And then I shot out onto Rug with my eyes wide open, and you cutt-ed the cord and said, "Hello, Jack!"
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In the "Special Thanks to" part of the credit, there's the name of Jack White, the guitarist and vocalist of the band The White Stripes, a poster of which can be seen in a scene in Joy's bedroom. See more »
That review summary may sound very oxymoronic, but to me it applies to a film such as 'Room'. A film with a difficult subject, that is the stuff of nightmares, but tells it so beautifully with an interesting approach that works better than all the potential traps that films of its genre could fall under.
What could have easily have been told in a lurid, gratuitous way (being inspired by the true-life case of Josef Fritzl) is instead told in a careful and restrained way. There is even an innocence in 'Room', due to its very fascinating decision to tell it from the viewpoint of a five year old, in this case Jack, one that comes off very movingly and gives a sense that there is a little ray of hope in a seemingly hopeless situation. The source material, equally brilliant, is to be thanked here, its author Emily Donoghue adapts it to screen here and none of its power is lost.
Really appreciated the careful and restrained approach to the storytelling in 'Room', and for me and many others it was something different considering the subject. It does though affect some of the pacing in the middle act, where a little of the tension seen in especially the first part is lost a little.
For my tastes too, though it probably did fit the film's younger and more innocent viewpoint it's told from, the music score does lay it on too thick with the treacle.
However, loved how the story was told and its approach. What 'Room' also strongly benefitted from being told this way was that the mother and son relationship was able to shine through and really resonate, which it may not have done as effectively with a heavier tone. And shine through it does, with great charm and poignancy. Also appreciated that none of the characters were painted too black and white, even Old Nick.
Production values are effectively claustrophobic and the nocturnal parts chillingly nightmarish. 'Room' is beautifully directed by someone who understood how claustrophobic thrillers worked, how mother and son bonds do in dire situations do and the ability to combine both to ensure a powerful experience. A directing job that's both unsettling and empathetic. Similarly 'Room' is written with effortless skill and deft thoughtfulness.
Can't find anything to fault the performances. The superb one of Brie Larson, that was a very worthy Oscar (Golden Globe and Bafta too) win in her category, is an obvious starting point, but one mustn't overlook the beyond-his-years turn of young Jacob Tremblay, one of the best child acting performances in recent years, and William H Macy and Joan Allen both giving some of their best work in years. Sean Bridgers also gives much more to what could have been a standard cliché role.
Overall, great powerful film but the somewhat fascinatingly unconventional (for the genre) way the story was told won't work for some. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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