Not a fat lot of Room for improvement with this one


After spending the past five years locked away in a kidnapper’s shed, a little boy and his mother finally get out and are able to reacquaint themselves with the world.
When she was seventeen, Joy Newson (Brie Larson) was kidnapped on her way home from school. For seven years she was held hostage by her kidnapper in his garden shed, and gave birth to his child, Jack (Jacob Tremblay), after two years in captivity. Joy and Jack survived together for five years in the shed, until one day Joy decided the time had come where they had an opportunity to get out. She constructs an escape plan which heavily involves her son, and when the mission is completed, the two, especially Jack, find that things on the outside are more different than they expected. 

I’d heard that Room was supposed to be a phenomenal watch, and I had also heard that it had brought a tear to the eyes of many viewers. To be honest, I’m surprised that it has taken me until now to see the film, but I will say that after finally seeing it, that wait has been well worth it. I will also say that the film manage to stir up emotions within myself that I was not even sure existed. If you’re in the mood for a full on ugly cry, this is probably a film you should consider.

There are some incredibly powerful performances in Room, brought to you by Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay. The two of them got the whole mother/son dynamic perfect, and it felt like a really authentic relationship for the entire time you were watching them. Larson nailed the patience needed by Joy whilst she was locked in the shed, and the innocence shown by Jacob Tremblay as Jack towards the idea of a huge world outside of his own existence was clear to see. I found that it was Tremblay’s performance that provoked the greatest reaction from me at various points throughout the film (one such point was when he set eyes on a real dog for the first time, I’m still not over it). However, the scene where Joy was reunited with her father for the first time since she disappeared was also a significant one for me, and once again, tissues were needed.

I have to whole-heartedly praise Emma Donoghue for her writing of both the novel and the screenplay, and with that I also take my hat off to whoever had the idea of keeping the same writer for both. The emotions that are brought to the surface by the characters she created are like a punch in the face. There is no escaping them, meaning even the most hardened non-criers such as myself find themselves reduced to tear stained ruins by the end of the film.

Director Lenny Abrahamson did a fantastic job with the making of this film. I’ve read about all the struggles that were presented to the cast and crew by the task of filming such a huge proportion of the film in the confines of the shed that Joy and Jack were kept in. It does not sound as though the first month of filming was a breeze. However, I think Abrahamson’s belief in the story was shown by his persistence and determination that they would succeed in filming those scenes within those four walls, which, if you are aware of it, I think gives you even greater faith in the film as you watch it.

So, would I recommend Room? Well, it’s not remotely like anything that I’ve personally watched before, nor has any other film made me such an emotional wreck on numerous occasions before. The performances are on a new level altogether (I forgot to mention it, but Larson won a Best Actress Oscar for her part, although I’m sure you already knew that), and really work to bring to life the feelings that the script is absolutely sodden with. I’ve already been recommending it to people, and I wouldn’t think twice about sitting down to watch it again myself. 

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Published by

Kira Comerford

Film and TV lover with hopes to one day make my own projects for everyone to enjoy. Until then, I'm giving my thoughts on what I watch for inspiration.

4 thoughts on “Not a fat lot of Room for improvement with this one”

  1. Room blew me away! It was my favorite movie of 2015. I, too, have never seen another movie quite like it. I love how it’s shown through the perspective of young Jack’s eyes as he experiences the outside world for the first time. The movie hits even harder having been released just about a year after the three kidnapped girls in Ohio escaped from their 1o-year long captivity. Though it should be clarified that the book was written long before then. I remember being reluctant to watch it because of the dark subject matter, but I’m so grateful I did. I’m also appreciative of the fact that it hides most of the horror of the film underneath the surface. Great review, Kira!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers! I seemed be a long way behind people by only watching it now, and part of me now I shed I’d seen it way before now. It’s definitely Jack’s point of view that makes this film so effective, and I think that’s where everyone became so emotionally invested in the film.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I must admit I’ve avoided this one purely because I could think of nothing worse than locking a child into a room. I’m probably guilty of preconceived ideas and should give it a watch but just the concept saddens me terribly…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The idea of the kid in the room is sad, but I think this film spends a lot of time with Jack outside of the room, which is just as emotional because he is seeing so much for the first time ever and so much of it makes him really, really happy.

      Liked by 1 person

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