Top 100 Films Of The 2010’s – #77 – Room (2015)


RELEASED: 1th January 2016

DIRECTOR: Lenny Abrahamson

CAST: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, William H. Macy, Sean Bridgers, Tom McCamus, Amanda Brugel, Joe Pingue, Cas Anvar and Wendy Crewson

BUDGET: $13m

BOX OFFICE WORLDWIDE: $35.4m

AWARDS: 1 Academy Award (Best Actress), 1 Golden Globe (Best Actress Drama) and 1 BAFTA (Best Actress)

Held captive for 7 years in an enclosed space, a woman and her young son finally gain their freedom, allowing the boy to experience the outside world for the first time.

 

Room introduces us to Joy and Jack Newsome, a mother and her five-year-old son. Naturally, Joy spends her time nurturing Jack with warmth and love, playing games and telling him stories. However this isn’t your typical mother/son story as we realise that the pair of them are kept captive in the confinements of a shed, crowded with a bed, toilet, bath and small kitchen which they refer to as Room. As Jack curiosity grows, Joy’s resilience to their situation reaches breaking point as they begin to hatch a risky escape plan bringing them to face the world: one which Jack has never seen before and one which Joy hasn’t seen in seven years.

 

Room is the film adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s international bestselling novel and is directed by Lenny Abrahamson, which focuses on a mother and her just turned five-year-old son who have been living in the confines of the ‘room’. As Jack’s imagination leads to curiosity, Joy’s resilience to their captivity reaches breaking point and hatching a risky escape plan that leads to their lives changing forever, with Jack entering a world of new possibilities. There’s just something about a child’s viewpoint of the world that causes fascination and admiration amongst many. From imaginary friends to still having a simplistic viewpoint of the world, Room is Joy’s absolute hell in this restricted space as we learn she’s been abducted for several years and now she’s reaching her breaking point mentally as she strives to keep her captor ‘Old Nick’ away from Jack for as long as possible. For Jack on the other hand, the Room is his entire universe, with his imagination running wild in the room despite its limitations. As riveting as the first half is focusing on their time in Room and their escape, it’s the second half of the film which it explores the aftermath that’s the real eye opener here, after years of trying to find a way to get out, Joy is struggling to adapt to normality as the weight of her ordeal mentally and emotionally takes its toll, while Jack is initially anxious and wondering when they’ll return to Room, as he experiences the joy, fear and wonderful of everything around him. The performances from the main leads are fantastic here. Brie Larson earned awards aplenty for her role of Ma/Joy Newsome and she’s at her absolute best here and Jacob Tremblay is a revelation as Jack. The direction from Lenny Abrahamson is great as well, taking us into this claustrophobic space then through an emotional rollercoaster of emotions that is harrowing and touching.

 

FAVOURITE SCENE: Joy’s planned ruse to have Jack play dead in order of them to have any hope of escape from Old Nick and how it plays out is still just as intense on repeated viewing as it was originally. The way the sequence plays out, with the score, is riveting.

FAVOURITE QUOTE: “There are so many things out here. And sometimes it’s scary. But that’s ok. Because it’s still just you and me…” – Jack

DID YOU KNOW: Brie Larson isolated herself in her home for a month without a phone or internet and followed a strict diet in order to get a sense of what Ma and Jack were going through. Larson has said that because she considers herself an introvert who prefers to stay at home, she thought that her month of isolation would be a vacation, but towards the last week she became very depressed and would cry all day.

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