Room, directed by Lenny Abrahamson, is based off of the best selling novel written by Emma Donaghue. The film stars Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Sean Bridgers, Joan Allen, William H. Macy, Tom McCamus, Amanda Brugel, and Wendy Crewson.
Joy and her five year old son Jack have been living in what they refer to as "Room" for the entire boy's life and, as he grows older, his mom begins to teach him more and more of the outside world. For instance, there is "Old Nick", a bad man who they must find a way to get away from and there is also a big world out there that goes far beyond the four surrounding walls of their home and what they happen to see on the television.
This is one of those movies that will receive lots of attention come awards time without the benefit of huge box office numbers. The subject matter is honestly a little bleak and, for my part, wasn't really that interesting when it was all said and done. There are some nice messages about family, growth, and strength in the story and Brie Larson delivers a very respectable performance although none of it was able to really draw me on emotionally. Based on the reaction from the crowd, I would have to say I am in the minority as there was plenty of sniffling and wiping of tears during all the appropriate moments and a friend of mine said it was one of the more emotionally powerful movies she has seen in a while. Keep in mind, she is a single mom and I have no children so maybe there's the difference right there.
Prior to seeing this film, I had not read the book and really knew nothing about the story. All I did know was that it was about a mom and her son in a small room and Brie Larson is really good. One of the more difficult things to pull off in any film that involves a child actor (or two) is finding just the right kid to play the part as there are numerous examples of this going horribly wrong and you end up with an annoying child that pretty much ruins the whole thing. Jacob Trembley is a relative newcomer to the acting world and, in his biggest role so far, he does a fantastic job and shows such a wide range of emotion, you would think he had years of experience under his belt. Joan Allen is also really good as Joy's mom and she actually delivers a couple of the film's best moments.
Room is a really good effort by both the director and the cast and will leave audiences emotionally drained from all the stuff that happens. This type of film isn't really in my wheelhouse and I probably enjoyed it less than most people will so please take that into account when deciding if you want to see it for yourself. I believe anyone who is a parent and, especially single moms, will really get a lot of this story and, if you've read the book, you will have a very good idea of what I mean.