Room: "There Are So Many Things Out Here. And Sometimes It's Scary. But That's OK. Because It's Still Just You and Me"

Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Writer:    Emma Donoghue
Starring: Brie Larson
                Jacob Tremblay
                Joan Allen
                William H. Macy
                Sean Bridgers
                Tom McCamus
                Amanda Brugel
                Joe Pingue
                Cas Anvar
Rating:    *****

Home Release: May 9, 2016

I have to be honest and say I knew very little about this film, and it wasn't until the buzz surrounding grew and my friends began discussing it that I really paid attention. Thankfully I took notice of the Oscar buzz surrounding Room because it completely blew me away. It has been quite a while since a film has gripped me in the way this film did; a film completely driven by characters and how they develop through the story. There are no frills or thrills, it's unashamed to be as raw as it needs to be,  and they completely strip everything away so it is just the actors and a superbly written script.

The first half of the film focuses on Joy (Larson) and her 5 year old son, Jack (Tremblay) as they live in a cramped and squalid shed that is filled with bare essentials they need to survive. Joy was kidnapped by "Old Nick" (Sean Bridgers) as a teenager and for years was neglected and raped by him, it is from him that she gets pregnant and gives birth to Jack; so for Jack, Room is normal.

Jacob Tremblay & Brie Larsen
The second half of the film takes place after Joy and Jack escape Room and have to get back into normality of life outside. For Joy she has to rebuild her relationship with her now separated parents (Allen & Macy), as well as her mothers new partner, Leo (McCamus). Also as well as getting used to the 21st century world herself, she must help Jack get used to...well, everything. There isn't anything on the outside world that Jack is aware of, due to Joy persuading him that the outside world is all pretend whilst in Room. Jack must deal with feelings of betrayal, home-sickness, loss, anxiety and confusion.

Larson gives the performance of a lifetime in room, she completely deserved all of the awards that she received for her performance, including The Academy Award for Best Actress. I have seen Larson in films and television before, and was completely surprised and astonished by the emotional journey she portrayed on the screen. Joy has to deal with so many conflicting emotions, having to protect her son whilst trying to cope herself, and Larson did it with a raw elegance and in a completely unabashed way. She throws herself into the performance and captivated me from beginning to end.

Alongside her for the whole journey is new comer Jacob Tremblay, and what a discovery he is. Over the years young stars have emerged (Dakota Fanning, Anna Paquin, Abigail Breslin, Quvenzhane Wallis) and Tremblay can proudly stand next to them all. Tremblay delivers a powerhouse performance, displaying every emotion needed to push the story along and never showing any signs of faltering. Jack is the one character who is almost unhappy to be free from room, that was his home, his safe place, and suddenly he is snatched away from it; for reasons he doesn't understand. You somehow understand and feel for him and the feelings of loss that he is experiencing, and if it wasn't for Tremblay's superb performance it may never have worked as well as it has.

Joan Allen, William H. Macy
& Brie Larsen
The supporting cast are superb and really back up and help
to carry the film with even more powerful and moving performances, they all react differently to Joy and Jack, and you completely relate to everyone's reactions. Not everyone is as joyful as others, but that is somehow believable, and the actors help create characters you feel for and want to listen to.

The script, written by original book author Emma Donoghue, is superb. Tremblay himself gets so many emotive and thoughtful soliloquies that look deep in to Jack's inner most thoughts and how he is dealing with the situation. At such a young age he performs them with such eloquence and is astounding at how well he handles the material. Donoghue obviously knows the material better than anybody, and that really shows in the script. Each word uttered by the cast has been written beautifully, and helps to set the tone and create a beautifully emotional story.

Lenny Abrahamson's direction is gritty, real and wonderfully put together. Each shot is filmed perfectly, sometimes holding close to an actors face to show their emotions further, or lingering just a little too long to add to the uncomfortable feel in the scene. He has worked wonders with the script and actors to help make a marvellous piece of cinema, and I can honestly say that I both cried and felt an enormous sense of hope in the films final moments especially. Room is an incredible look at how a horrific situation can effect so many different people in so many different ways, and the cast give terrific performances that will blow you away

Room -Trailer