Every year there is that small film with a lack of A-list stars which no one will see or hear about until Movie Award season kicks into full gear. Room is that movie in 2015. Starring Brie Larson and newcomer Jacob Tremblay, Room is a dark tale of abduction and life on the outside after you have become freed. Larson has received serious Oscar Buzz for her role in Room as Joy and rightfully so, but her young costar Tremblay carries the film as her son Jack who is a product of the sexual abuse Joy endures from her captor over a seven-year period.
Room is split up into two very distinct halves that will send you on an emotional roller coaster. The first half of Room deals with the time spent in the small room with only four walls and a skylight that serves as a gauge for the time passing in the small space. Larson gives a sad, but strong performance as a mother trying to keep her sanity and son protected from the evil that put her in this prison. Room makes you think what you would do and how would you live in this small space. Larson gives you a showcase of emotions from fear, hope, desperation and a loss of the will to fight especially after she is set free from her own personal Hell. Room is a breakout role for Larson and she should be awarded during Oscar season with a Best Lead Actress nomination.
Larson is may give a career defining performance in Room, but the real star is Jacob Tremblay as Joy’s son Jack who serves as our guide through this extraordinary journey. Jack is right at home at times in the small space and has a sense of innocence to him since he’s never left the room and believes outside is outer space. At times Room almost comes off as sweet with the two bonding over stories of the outside world and homemade cake. Jack runs wild and complains like a normal kid would about his food, but will then put the fear in the audience as he hides in a wardrobe just feet away from the abuse happening to his mother which he thinks is normal and why wouldn’t he. This is he only life he knows.
Tremblay is even more incredible on-screen when he’s out in the world discovering things like stairs, dogs and other kids his age which he never encountered. The kid is almost an alien to this new world and shows that the freedom the duo wanted most could be the thing that scares them the most in life. This role should garner serious Oscar attention in the Supporting Actor category. Room shows discovery can be terrifying, brutal, but also heartwarming and hopeful if you’re willing to move on from the bad things in life. Room is a tough movie to watch, but one many should see.
Overall, I give Room 3.5 out of 4 stars.