The first film from the 59th London Film Festival we are reviewing is Lenny Abrahamson’s Room. Lenny is known for hard-hitting productions and Room is certainly another feature to add to that collection.
Room is now confirmed to be nominated for Baftas and Oscars alike plus a Golden Globe win for Brie Larson.
After 5-year old Jack and his Ma escape from the enclosed surroundings that Jack has known his entire life, the boy makes a thrilling discovery: the outside world.
This is an incredibly intelligent film with the two-hour feature told through the eyes of Jack (Jacob Tremblay). He often narrates scenes with his youthful observations on simple things. They are at times amusing as he is just five years old and this gives the odd laugh but also highlights the fact he has grown up in just four small walls and knows only what his mother (Brie Larson) has told him.
Larson tells her son white lies about the world to get them through life as she protects him from ‘Nick’ who has them captured and hidden away. Tremblay nails his role as an annoying kid in the room but his performance enhances in the second act. Based on the book by Emma Donoghue, Larson gives a career-best performance as she twists and turns with her difficulties. She’s upbeat, depressed, afraid, unstable and a mother. It is a very deep and layered role but she makes it look easy.
Taking nothing away from Jacob, his character changes once he leaves the room and Tremblay maturely adapts his role so professionally for such a young age. There are a few poignant scenes between the mother and son which have you captivated. The sequences in the room make you feel trapped with them – that is a testament to Lenny’s masterful direction. Even when they are out of the room, you still feel trapped psychologically as they try to adjust and battle the everyday struggles.
This film deserves a great reception at theatres nationwide. It is a film that may go under the radar with most but there will be some lucky folk that will go and see it. It’s touching, gripping and thought-provoking. The climaxing scene between mother and son back at the room tugs on the heart strings. It’s believable and raw – it’s a little masterpiece.
Cineroom’s Rating: 5 Stars
Room will be released nationwide in selected cinemas in January 2016. Certificate 15.