December 31, 2015


Lenny Abrahamson, 2015
In terms of modern day literary adaptations, Room is certainly pulled from dark subject matter. Told from the perspective of main character / five year old boy Jack (Jacob Tremblay) , in structure it resembles similarly disturbing adaptation “The Lovely Bones” which was adapted to screen by Peter Jackson in 2009. Bones was told by an abducted teenage girl slain by a serial killer. While Bones dives a little deeper into the darkness, Room definitely puts you in an unsettling place. Actually, it immediately puts you in it. The film opens up inside the small shed / tiny prison where mother Ma (Brie Larson) and her little boy are laying in bed. The film doesn't jump into the past, showing you what circumstances led to their captivity. Nope, just right to the shed. It goes on to show you that Ma has created a routine for him, clearly trying to maintain some kind of stability while housed in such a small space under horrific circumstances. Not only does it show her dedication as a parent but it shows her patience as well. When Jack erupts into small tantrums, she has no choice but to stay close to him and take a deep breath and try to let it go. Tough work as any parent realizes. Walking away, leaving the room (or "Room" as they call it) is not an option. An early success in the film is how quickly you become invested in their characters. Larson is no stranger to playing a troubled female lead, as she did remarkably in Short Term 12. Larsen and Tremblay are really the shining performances of the film, easily outshining veterans Joan Allen and William H Macy. Macy's talents don't really feel used properly in the film. He just sort of passes through quickly, and sort of fades away insipidly.

Room is a very different movie from Abrahamson's work last year in Frank. Although he does have a way of blending black comedy elements into a dark drama as he does in both pictures. Room is really a heart-wrenching story, uncomfortably tense at times, about a mother and her son forced to try and endure unimaginable circumstances. It's a provocative & unique drama, certain to make some kind of impression on you. 

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