I feel like I am walking on the thinnest of ice right not.
Room is definitely one of the year’s very best films, if not the best, but how do I convince you to see it? For starters, I could say that it was playing an hours drive away from me, and it was more than worth the trip. I could say it has probaly the best performances you will see all year. What I can’t say is what you may feel personally, only that I felt emotions as strong as I have in any theater experience I have had in my life.
The movie is told through the eyes of Jack (Jacob Tremblay), who has spent his entire first five years of life in a shed with his “Ma” (Brie Larson). She was kidnapped at seventeen by a sadist called Old Nick (Sean Bridgers) and has used her as a sex slave for seven years. Eventually, she was pregnant, and bore Jack.
At this point, some spoilers are unavoidable (they are also in the trailer), so stop reading now if you wish. The first half of the film is life in the room, the second half is life after they escape. The first half is quite difficult to sit through, but it is well worth it (I spent much of it with my hands clasped together like I was praying).
One of the key successes of the film is telling it through young Jack’s eyes. We observe some of what the adult characters are talking about, but not always how they feel about it. We don’t know how Ma got into that situation until she tells Jack a story (which he does not want to hear). We don’t exactly find out what happens to their captor, because Jack is less interested in that and more in the new world. It must be credited that the screenplay is wonderfully done by Emma Donoghue, who wrote the book.
Now we come to the acting. I forget to mention two thespians, though not in the film for long, still shine as Grandma and Grandpa. It is Joan Allen and William H. Macy. However, in the next few months, when people come to me and ask about Brie Larson, I will mention that there is no way she cannot be nominated for an Oscar. Almost every emotion her character could go through as a new mom she goes through like it was second nature.
Still, if there is anything you will walk away remembering (and there will be a lot), it is the performance by Jacob Tremblay as Jack. I have always been a fan of child performances in films, but this is not a performance. It is an embodiment. There are no times in the film where I see the 8 year old actor acting. It is the best performance of 2015, and I will be angry if he is not nominated for an Oscar.
Parents, due to the subject matter, I can safetly say that only the most mature of High Schoolers and above would be ok for seeing this (we hear some Old Nick raping Ma, but we don’t see any of it and it does not last long).
One of the reasons Room is difficult at times is knowing that, sadly, these situations happen in real life. I cannot say if you will like Room or not, but I can promise one thing: You will not soon forget it.