Make room in your busy schedules for this brilliantly acted little drama.
After five-year-old Jack (Jacob Tremblay) and his mother (Brie Larson) escape from the enclosed surroundings that Jack has known his entire life, the boy makes a thrilling discovery.
Two fantastic performances makes this one to watch. Adapted from the bestselling Emma Donoghue novel. This is definitely going onto my reading list.
The first act allowed for a slow burning but intriguing look into Jack and Joy’s captivity. It was an interesting watch from Jack’s perspective. It takes a lot for a child actor to make a memorable impression. Especially when they are at the forefront of the piece. Tremblay was excellent.
We follow Jack as he makes the best of his confined childhood. While Joy does everything she can to keep the lie. That they are trapped in Room because of the aliens outside. BUT Jack’s inquisitiveness and energy keeps growing by the day. The more questions he asks, the harder it gets for Joy to keep the act. Things picked up when Jack wondered where the food was coming from.
Sean Bridgers delivered a sinister supporting turn as Old Nick. He really was a piece of work. Poor Jack is forced to count in his wardrobe while Nick shows his appreciation to Joy. It would would have been a little creepier if his face wasn’t revealed so early. It added much more suspense when we only see him through the slits in Jack’s wardrobe. His face concealed. A voice and a shadow.
Larson (Short Term 12) was excellent as Joy. Struggling to lie any more, she tells Jack the truth. Tremblay captured the confusion perfectly. Unable what to grasp what was real after believing TV was the source of everything via magic. His fascination with a mouse and Joy’s rash decision to remove it was the tipping point.
The middle act was nail biting as Joy decides to play a trick on Old Nick. The escape was tense and suspenseful. The only problem was that after such a riveting sequence, the second half seemed to simmer away. The pace was a tad slow. As much as it was an interesting transition watching the pair adapt to life outside of Room, there were moments where I could feel my eyes wondering to my watch.
Larson and Tremblay’s chemistry really carried it to the last hurdle. BUT there wasn’t as much as drama as I’d hoped. William H. Macy’s (Fargo) character wasn’t in this enough. After a touching reunion, he was largely absent. Shame. There was plenty of room for conflict as he refused to acknowledge Jack.
Wendy Crewson (The Vow) was wasted in her minor cameo as the talk show hostess. The interview may have been a subtle attack on Joy’s choices while in Room BUT it didn’t quite deliver. You certainly felt for Joy as she desperately fought back the tears.
Jack’s transformation was watchable as he had to adjust to the big wide world as well as more rooms! Stairs, dogs, all the little things you take for granted. You really hoped that he would be able to adapt. Made to wear sunglasses, sun tan lotion and a dust mask to get used to the natural sunlight and build an immunity against the germs outside.
Joy’s transformation was something else. Larson really captured Joy’s frustration and anger. Superb. You realise that Jack may not be the one to worry about. Joan Allen’s (The Bourne Supremacy/Ultimatum) Grandma initially was a little weak. Thankfully her character got to shine in the closing act and some nice moments.
You weren’t sure how their story was going to end. Making for an emotional and heart rending finale. An endearing and engaging drama. Hype may have been a little much and the pace may have been patchy BUT two brilliant performances and a wonderful relationship makes this one to watch.