Posted Dec 08 2015

Room - This Movie Rocks The House (Let Alone The Room)

Dir: Lenny Abrahamson

Starring Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, William H. Macy

Adapted by Emma Donoghue from her novel, Lenny Abrahamson’s film is haunted by the spirit of Josef Fritzl (Donoghue’s initial inspiration for the book) and is simply one of the most remarkable films of the year.

Larson gives a tremendous performance as the young woman kidnapped, imprisoned and impregnated by the irredeemable Old Nick. She spends the next several years of her life in what she terms “Room” – a sparse shed, trying to protect and, just as importantly, educate her born in captivity son Jack (a hugely impressive Tremblay.) When an opportunity to escape presents itself, “Ma” Larson and son find themselves in a world that needs almost as much understanding as that of their captivity.

Abrahamson delivers his finest film to date in Room, brilliantly making use of extreme close ups, in both sections of his movie – "in" and "out" - to create an intimacy that resonates throughout. Faces are cropped here – no eyes in that shot, the mouth dropping out of frame in the next – as we experience a closeted view of the world, in which personal emotional connection is really all these central characters have. What’s interesting here also though is the lack of horror. Given the horrendous real-life tale that inspired the book, here Abrahamson wants to focus on the mundane, the everyday of such terrifying events. To the point that life for Ma and Jack on the “outside” is almost as terrifying and incomprehensible as time spent in “Room.”

It’s beautifuly judged, full of delicately nuanced performances – with Allen and Macy adding to the mix in the second half – and both incredibly sad and strangely uplifting. It may take a few minutes longer than it needs finding its ending, but when it does, it is genuinely devastating. Easily one of the best films of the year.


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