Room is a 2015 drama film directed by Lenny Abrahamson and starring Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay. It is a masterpiece and undoubtedly the year’s finest movie.
A woman and her 5-year-old son are held captive in a small room and when they finally gain their freedom, they have trouble adjusting to the world, especially the boy who had never seen the real world before. I loved this movie. The story itself is creepy and disturbing and whereas I usually despise subject matter like this, Room was still a movie for me because it is a pure character-driven drama where violence is never shown which is so commendable.
It also has a very interesting structure. The first half is in the room, in a confined space where the characters shine and the dialogue is at its best whereas the second half of the film is outside when they escape and where we follow their coping with the situation and how it affected them on an emotional level. I loved that as both halves are absolutely phenomenal and both deliver in spades. It starts off really well, those moments in the room are all phenomenal, but the second half is maybe even better with even more emotional and dialogue-driven drama. And that ending is absolutely fantastic as that whole last sequence is so incredibly satisfying and realistic, while also being heartwarming and simply powerful. It is a perfect conclusion to an amazing film.
The character development in Room is magnificent. Grandma is so sweet and caring and I loved her character, but of course Joy is absolutely amazing as this brave woman with an endless, unconditional love for her child for whom she would do anything, but she at the same time has angry outbursts at him which is very realistic. Jack is phenomenal as well and is such a different child protagonist than usual. He is more real and his troubles and his whole personality is so grounded in reality and sometimes so sweet and lovable that I adored him. The relationship between the two is the heart of the film naturally as they are awesome together and you feel their love thanks in large part to the incredible chemistry between the two actors.
Yes, the acting in Room is brilliant. Brie Larson did such an amazing job in her role and she was always so spectacular, in every scene she is in. She was believable and professional and is gave undoubtedly the finest actress performance of the year. But Jacob Tremblay is the better actor here as he gave an even better performance than Brie Larson. He is so natural, so believable, always subtle and realistic that it was unbelievable to watch a 9-year-old deliver such a powerhouse acting performance. And it is all the more commendable because he goes through so much during the movie and delivers in every scene – from angry outbursts to the crying to the more subtle moments. He is to me the lead of the movie, the protagonist and he gave one of the best child performances ever in a film.
Lenny Abrahamson directed this movie wonderfully, but the film is also incredibly well edited and wonderfully paced. Every scene is perfect in its length and execution and the film is beautifully structured as well. The score is absolutely amazing with a great theme and some really heartfelt music that accompanies the scenes in a great way. The tone is also excellent as the film is dramatic and emotional, but sometimes also sweet and funny which is great as those moments were much needed for such a dark movie.
The dialogue is extraordinary and my favorite moments were the ending of course, the scene where the mother explains to him the outside world and the concept of reality is so well realized and the scene with the police woman is magnificent as she did such a great job with the child and his facial expressions are superb. That whole escape sequence is thrilling and powerful and I rooted for them to succeed so hard because the movie makes you care deeply for these characters and what happens to them which is a testament to strong character development and a tight script. Even more admirable here has to be its drama approach. The film never becomes a thriller and this scene alone would be made intense and sensational in almost every other film, but here the filmmakers wonderfully avoided all of that and we never even see the arrest itself because it doesn’t matter. What matters is the relationship between mother and son and their characters and I love the fact that the film remains a pure drama throughout. So original and so sophisticated.
The film is so authentic and original, but in that weird way in which you find yourself asking why someone hasn’t done this kind of story before. It is told through the eyes of a child instead of being from her perspective and that was unique and refreshing. But the whole structure of the movie and the film’s themes lift it to greater heights, being in the process drama instead of thriller. The film is memorable and engaging, but always realistic and impactful. Room is probably the most emotionally draining and difficult to watch movie that I have ever seen. It can make you laugh, smile and of course cry, but it can also make you feel disturbed and afraid for the characters. It is so powerful and heartbreaking, but never emotionally manipulative or maudlin. But it can devastate you and leave you in a very fragile state which is why this isn’t for everyone. But it has its light moments, it has its comedic moments and it is rewarding in every sense of that word. Plus it has a brain along with its heart as it is so sophisticated and always smart and believable. It wonderfully shows every trouble and adjusting difficulty of that terrible situation and the child’s coping problems are dealt with in a careful and realistic manner.
If I had any problems with Room, it would have to be that some of its earlier scenes were a bit too disturbing to me and some scenes later on are not as fantastic as the rest, but for the most part the film deals with its disturbing subject matter in a tasteful manner and for the most part the movie is perfect. It deserved its Oscar nominations with Screenplay, Actress, Director and Best Picture all being deserving of the ultimate award as well, not just the nomination. But Jacob Tremblay was snubbed as he probably gave the finest performance of the year. Room is an almost perfect movie and without any doubt, in a weak year, the best and most impressive film of 2015.