This is not my usual sort of film. I sat in screen 2 at work in time to catch the start and I had to take a seat to see it develop. And it developed well.
I have not seen a genuinely great performance by a child actor in a long time, I had to witness the atrocity that is Pan last year for example. But Jacob Tremblay deserves all awards he was nominated for, in fact I has taken home a few already. You really think you are just watching a real kid existing in a small shed containing all that he knows inside. Once he makes it into the world beyond ‘room’ as he calls it, his reactions seem so genuine. His sense of wonder is so powerful that you can see so well how his character, Jack, is taking in everything around him.
I am going to discuss a few more points of the film which will contain spoilers so please don’t continue if you do not wish to know them.
From the moment in which Jack and his ma’s captor falls for their plan to trick him, their escape really seems on the cards and even though we know this is coming as an audience, it seems so realistic that you can’t imagine it playing out so masterfully. Jack is so young (just turned five in fact) that he couldn’t possibly remember the exact steps his ma instructed to him to orchestrate the full escape especially as he is now meeting the world and new human beings at the same time. It really gets tense as his captor drives him away in the back of a truck assuming he is dead. I was on the edge of my seat as Jack began making his move to run, if there were no customers in the theatre I would have certainly been shouting out anxiously. What I can not stress enough about this film is how strong it is emotionally. I could have easily welled up on a few occasions and that is all down to the fantastic performance Brie Larson delivers.
This came as a real surprise for me because the sort of roles I know Brie for are all pretty stupid comedic roles. I remember he in Scott Pilgrim vs The World as Envy Adams, and as Ashley the au pair in season three of The League. Not inspiring roles (although she was pretty good in them). To go from that to Room is huge, not only for the scale of it but the totally different style as well.
Overall you couldn’t fault the direction and story in this adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s 2010 novel. I am not a big reader but I would love to read the book now to compare how Lenny Abrahamson’s version translates. It is a fictional story but what makes it so strong is how clearly it draws from events that really do happen in the world. I’m giving Room 8.5/10, if you happen to feel differently about it please do say so in the comments.