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Rated R · 118 min. · 2015

Drama



Emma Donoghue and Lenny Abrahamson’s film, adapted from Donoghue’s novel, is a cathartic exploration of the trauma at the heart of the love between mother and child. The horrific premise—that young mother Joy Newsome (Brie Larson) and her son, Jack (Jacob Tremblay), are prisoners in a psychopath’s shed—is kept in the background, intensifying uncomfortable emotions intrinsic to parenting and early childhood. Daringly, the film highlights how trauma can be deepened through a parent’s efforts to protect her child. After letting Jack believe the room is all there is, Joy must shatter his illusions all at once. The pair’s performances in these wrenching sequences deserve their Oscar buzz. Danny Cohen’s cinematography ties us to Jack’s point of view via tight close-ups, restricting spatial detail. This works well for scenes of suspense and tragedy. Underlying everything is the story of Austria’s Elisabeth Fritzl, who was held captive by her father in his cellar for 24 years. The film is inspired by, not based on, the Fritzl story, but a few threads from the source material beg to be tied. Keeping the captor incidental to the plot avoids cliché at the cost of making his behavior seem inconsistent: If he’s such a monster, why does he obey Joy’s demand that he never even see his son? We don’t know because Jack can’t.

Official Site: www.roomthemovie.com
Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Writer: Emma Donoghue
Cast: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, William H. Macy, Amanda Brugel, Sean Bridgers, Megan Park, Kate Drummond, Randal Edwards and Jack Fulton

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