During the duration of the Ultimate 80s Blogathon, it will be my chance to do a lot of 2015 movies catch-up. Focus will mostly go to Oscar nominated films. The choices are limited as some are stuck in between home release and theatres. Still, I’m going to try my best to get to as many as possible. Moving right along with the Oscar nominations (since I already looked at Bridge of Spies before, Room is nominated for 4 Oscars including Best Picture. Its also filmed in Toronto and the little boy Jacob Tremblay has been on The Ellen Show recently. I read Room (review HERE) a few years ago in my earlier blogging days so maybe that review is not a fun read. Still, it is a great book.
Let’s check it out! 🙂
Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Cast: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Sean Bridgers, Joan Allen, William H. Macy
After five-year-old Jack and his mother escape from the enclosed surroundings that Jack has known his entire life, the boy makes a thrilling discovery.-IMDB
Room is very good movie. Its a well done adaptation of the book. Watching endangered kids always has this somewhat manipulative aspect to it but Room and its cast rearranges (or at least I think of what I remember) the screenplay so that it makes it a little more cinematic. IMDB’s description is a little skewed. Room focuses on entrapment in the first half and escape/rehabilitation in the second half, almost through the eyes of a five year old. During the movie, I was a little shocked that they split the movie almost down in the middle, allocating more time on Ma and Jack recovering and adapting to the real world. It felt like the source material spent more time building it from Room. Is that a good choice? Let me tell you that when the credits rolled, I couldn’t help but compare the enjoyment I had of this movie to Gone Girl (also one I loved the novel and was not sure how they’d make it work in a movie). With that said, the credits listed the author of the book Emma Donoghue also to be responsible for the adapted screenplay and for that, I think is the similarity of what keeps the content true to what the heart of the novel is about. I’m not one to nitpick on details on expanding or diminishing of the source material. It honestly doesn’t bother me too much but how they dealt with it held my attention for the movie. The tension, the urgency, the sacrifice, the fear of adapting, and other feelings were all apparent in this drama.
One of the best things was giving us a believable story lead by an extremely competent cast. There is no doubt of the exceptional performances of Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay playing Ma and Jack respectively. Their attachment and relationship was depicted beautifully. The part I loved the most was those little monologues where the audience got to get an honest glimpse of what Jack was thinking of from the little world he lived in to his transition into a bigger world. In a story like this, even being saved is still a struggle to heal for everyone and not just the victims. Jack has the bigger world and building a connection with others and not just his Ma. On the other hand, Ma has to get over the years she’s lost and people questioning the decisions she made. Joan Allen is fantastic as Grandma, especially when contrasted with a much shorter appearance of William H. Macy as Grandpa, who for that short time sent out his feelings perfectly. However, among all the praise, I truly think that Sean Bridgers was casted wrong. I don’t know who could have done it better or maybe its not even a casting issue but the lack of build-up for the villainous character of Old Nick. It seemed a little rush and there was really one scene that gave him a more menacing feeling.
Room is a truly eye-opening experience, especially when the movie does a fantastic job of opening and closing it the way it did. Its an experience of really seeing what two sides of the coin (or the other side of the wall?) is all about. Room may be a prison for Ma because she knows what else is out there but for Jack, its not. This is his world and he is happy because he has Ma. That attachment takes time to maintain and it won’t be easily broken. Does leaving Room behind mean that they are free? The amazement and fear in Jack as he learns to connect with others but still have that unbreakable bond with Ma is a precious one. In all the hardships they’ve gone through, Room isn’t completely a depressing movie. Its a thrilling and tense but weaved in with some genuine heartfelt moments that give hope and a different point of view. Maybe sometimes, the eyes of a five year old can see more because they know less.
Have you seen Room? How did you like the performance of Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay?