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A Reel Life film section

Issue: Summer 2015-6

Room (2015) movie review

Discovering the World

space space



movie poster, Room, Festivale film review; 220x326

Movie poster, Room
Love knows no boundaries

Room tells the extraordinary story of Jack (Jacob Tremblay), a spirited 5 year-old who is looked after by his loving and devoted Ma (Brie Larson). Like any good mother, Ma dedicates herself to keeping Jack happy and safe, nurturing him with warmth and love and doing typical things like playing games and telling stories. Their life, however, is anything but typical--they are trapped--confined to a windowless, 10-by-10-foot space.

With the stories that we see in the media, the audience quickly believes that Ma and Jack are captives of a Bad Man.

Ma gives her son rudimentary food, exercise, hygiene, and love. She also gives him a peculiar mythology where the sky beyond the skylight is outer space, aliens are outside Room, and Room is the world.

movie still, Room, courtesy Roadshow Films; 500x333

Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay in Room (photo courtesy Roadshow Films)

Visits from 'Old Nick' bring supplies, and Nick is the only one with the code to the metal door.

But Ma decides the time has come to escape, and first she must tell Jack the truth.

movie still, Room, ; 500x334

Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay in Room (photo courtesy Roadshow Films)

This is a long set-up, but this simply-told story is full of complications. The world that Ma builds for Jack, and survives in for herself is constrained. Re-entering the world outside is fraught with terrors.

Scripter Emma Donoghue, who wrote the original novel, does a nice job with the script. Violence is suggested, but the worst is never shown. What is revealed is the human cost of the incarceration.

Director Lenny Abrahamson and the actors do a nice job with sometimes difficult material. The gradual revelation of the truths keeps the audience engaged. These are human characters in difficult situations. It's only human to be interested.

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by Ali Kayn
Australian release 28 January 2016
For credits and official site details, see below
Search Festivale for more work by the film-makers below.
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See the trailer

See more films to be released in January 2016

Just the facts:

Title: Room (2015)
Written by: Emma Donoghue (novel), (screenplay)
Directed by: Lenny Abrahamson
Running time: 118 mins
Rating: M

The Players: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay,Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, William H. Macy, Joan Allen

Official website:
IMDb entry

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