Critic Consensus: Led by incredible work from Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay, Room makes for an unforgettably harrowing -- and undeniably rewarding -- experience.
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as Joy "Ma" Newsome
as Old Nick
as Officer Parker
as Dr. Mittal
as Officer Grabowski
as Talk Show Hostess
as Attending Doctor
as News Anchor
as FBI Agent
as Reporter #1
as Reporter #2
as Reporter #3
as Jack's Friend
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Critic Reviews for Room
A mesmerising tale of hope, survival and (if we're going to get all fancy about it) the sheer resilience of the human spirit.
Should Larson win the Oscar -- and I'm sure she will, judging from the wind she's riding -- it's from her complex rendition of a mum forced to grow up and face the complications of the world along with her child.
With impressive performances, this experimental drama could've been deeper with a better worked script. [Full review in Spanish]
This is a film that trusts its audience, and takes its time letting them in on the particulars of what these two are doing in this room.
Audience Reviews for Room
For those who aren't aware of Brie Larson's previous work, you should know that she is truly an amazing talent. Her 2013 film "Short Term 12," is a prime example of a past Oscar snub, and a harrowing and heartfelt film that deserves so much more attention than it got. Luckily Larson was aptly awarded for her work in this indie jewel, based on the Emma Donohue novel of the same name. Mostly set in a single room, the story follows a young mother and her son (who only knows the inside of a room). His mother teaches him about the outside world and the horrifying circumstances that have led to the pair's current fate
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Boasting exemplary performances by the entire cast, Room is simply the best movie ever about the complex and loving relationship between a mother and her son, but particularly while that relationship is in dangerous straits. Best. Ever. As well there's also a quick nod to the relationship between a mother and her own mother worth noting. Not simply quality filmmaking, but my pick for Best Picture of this year.
Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay really carry this movie as mother and son who are imprisoned in a garden shed for seven (and five) years (respectively). Joy's days are spent creating as normal of a childhood as she can for her son Jack - full of daydreams and exercise and crafts - so that at night when Old Nick comes for his conjugal visit, Jack would never think that hiding in the wardrobe is out of the ordinary. Now that he has turned five years old, Joy deems him old enough to learn the truth and plan their escape.
And what a riveting escape it is. I've laughed at movies, cried at movies, jumped out of my seat and yelped at movies, but never has my heart raced so fast at a movie as when Jack struggles to disentangle himself from the carpet and scrabbles out of this moving, rumbling behemoth into a loud, populated, alien world he has never seen, much less imagined before.
Nine-year-old Jacob Tremblay is so utterly natural as Jack, expressing shades of joy, anger, amusement, disgust, doubt, fear, and working that raggedy mop of hair to boot. My favorite moment is when Joy makes Jack repeatedly practice unrolling from the rug, and a disheveled, out-of-breath Jack tumbles out and spouts, "I hate you!" There is such power in his vehemence. Brie Larson is pretty dang good, infusing this young abuse victim with motherly patience and motherly ferocity, but I suppose she was good in an expected way. I expected a performance of this character to be this way, so I didn't see any surprising distinctions. In fact, the post-Room scenes with the reporter or fighting with her mom seem a bit inorganic, both in script and acting. There isn't enough nuance about Joy's PTSD; all the dialogue is too on-the-nose, so both Larson and Joan Allen end up just yelling in one note.
There are some weird must-happens in the story, of course. Old Nick must either be "kind" or dumb enough to not abuse his child begat from abuse, to not look inside the rug to confirm his child's death, to not wrestle his child back into the truck after his escape attempt, to not go home right away to punish his prisoner-wife. I mean, the audience probably wouldn't be able to handle more atrocity, but I wanted at least some background on what kind of abuser he is and what happens to him after the news broke. I know it's not his story, nor would a real life person like him deserve more consideration, but for a fictional character, he needs some grounding traits. What would compel the reporter to ask Joy why she didn't just have Old Nick take baby Jack to a hospital so that he may have a normal life? That would take an inordinate amount of trust in the abuser. And what if the rug were placed so that it would roll INTO the truckbed wall? And wouldn't Joy's friends have been affected by her disappearance and be interested/happy to know that she made it out alive?
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